THE CONQUERORS by Andre Malraux


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Interest in Andre Malraux as the epitome of the artist-intellectual who theatrically turned to action will make this new translation welcome. The novel, which came out in 1928 and was rendered into English the next year, has not been readily obtainable in the United States. It is flawed as history, telling us more about Malraux's preoccupations than it does about the revolutionary upheaval in Canton, China that is its obstensible subject. In his central portrait of Garine, fed up with the bourgeoisie from which he sprang but by no means enamored of the proletariat or an egalitarian future, the young Malraux put a lot of himself. Garine's hunger for power, pure and simple, throws light on some of Malraux's own twists and turns in the political arena. The new translation contains an afterword by Malraux that is largely made up of a speech he delivered in 1948 in defense of a Gaullist anti-Communist course. He links this speech with the novel written 20 years before by saying they both reflect European values. Beyond all these extra-literary considerations, the novel can be enjoyed simply as a remarkable work of modernism. With images derived from the silent cinema and prose from the telegraph, it moves at a tremendous pace. Canton all comes to violent life, seen as though from a speeding car.

Pub Date: Oct. 21st, 1976
ISBN: 0226502902
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston