DE GAULLE by Francois Mauriac


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Francois Mauriac's rendering of the De Gaulle myth and mystique has an atmosphere of romance and high endeavor to it. Novelist Mauriac looks to the man of words for his portrait: the man who wrote ""Such as I am, I cannot fail to be, at a given moment, in the center of the stage""...for whom (in Mauriac's words) ""luck lies in the opportunities his own moves present to him,"" who since The Edge of the Sword in 1927 has put himself on record in words spoken and written. Mauriac finds a man of ""reluctant tears,"" of a character which must not be assailed, for it has made him the saviour of France. He is a man who has disassociated ""the ephemeral French from eternal France,"" who lives for the latter (""Ah! mother, such as we are, we are here to serve you""). If he is to be faulted, it is for his disposition to uphold France in the world while neglecting her youth at home, but even for this lapse the author is certain that the great leader has a reason. He believes that Gaullism can exist without De Gaulle, indeed that it will be ""imposed by a reasoned instinct of self-preservation."" His poetic assessment is more general and generally less telling than the Aron Explanation of De Gaulle (to come in March) or the Schoenbrun Three Lives (p. 1183). Its main interest and value rests in its reading of De Gaulle's own texts.

Pub Date: Feb. 11th, 1965
Publisher: Doubleday