My first novel by André Gide. Hopefully, I will be able to pick up the $2 Dover Thrift Edition of The Immoralist
from Borders sometime in the "1 to 6 weeks" they're going to need to stock it. :PGide, André. Strait is the Gate. Trans. Dorothy Bussy. 1924. Woodstock: Tusk Ivories, 2004. (First French Edition: 1909)Summary
: Jerome and Alissa are in love, but happiness on this plane of existence is not to be. Convinced that holy transcendence is the most important of ideals and equally convinced that she is the only thing holding Jerome back from it, Alissa rebuffs his advances and ultimately dies, leaving Jerome forever unsatisfied.Comments
: Whew! Talk about tragic, high-minded romance! And idealism, romanticism, aestheticism, and religion--all rolled up into one monstrous, masochistic ball of angst. Gide was homosexual, you say? Yeah, I can definitely see it. Heck, Jerome's love for Alissa seems virtually platonic, and they DO apparently get along better in writing than they do in person, even without Alissa's interference in that respect. (Makes me think of the contemporary difference between online and real-life relationships and wonder.) Anyway, I'm so NOT won over by the whole "Our love will be consummated in the next life" thing...and I don't think I'm supposed to be. On the other hand, Gide does seem seduced by such high-minded ideals nevertheless. What makes the story even more irritating is that there is nothing, but NOTHING, especially after Juliette marries another man, holding them back. Not family, not society. They're doing it to themselves, and that's the greatest tragedy of all. I particularly loved the evocative ending, with Juliette grieving for herself and those that she has loved and lost. (Oh, and a postscript: I hope someone hurt Bussy for not providing translations of all that poetry and verse.)Notes
: trade paperback, 1st printingRating
- An entrancing story about how screwed up love can be...as long as you're in the mood for that sort of thing.