His father was of southern Huguenot peasant stock; his mother, a Norman heiress, although Protestant by upbringing, belonged to a northern Roman Catholic family long established at Rouen. While in Rouen Gide formed a deep attachment for his cousin, Madeleine Rondeaux. Written, like most of his later works, in the first person, it uses the confessional form in which Gide was to achieve his greatest successes. Get exclusive access to content from our First Edition with your subscription.

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His new freedom did not derive from the surgical removal of a swollen superego but from gaining a measure of control over it and, above all, displacing the powerful sense of responsibility onto a different set of moral imperatives.

The Counterfeiters is a highly moral book, even in the most old-fashioned sense: there are "good" characters and "bad" ones and, in general, things work out well for the good and badly for the bad. This apparently hedonistic dictum is only superficially scandalous; the license given by "happiness" is withdrawn in advance by "God. The proviso at the end about going "up hill" is equivalent to the earlier one about God.

Gide is the most moral of immoralists. Bernard does go up hill in the book, literally so in the Alps. He also becomes ever more conservative after running away from home; that is, after a bout of adolescent anarchism.

Dumping Calvinism in favor of radical freedom was fraught with aesthetic implications for a writer of novels, and it is these implications I believe he worked out in The Counterfeiters. Perhaps the reason why the man who had already written The Immoralist, Strait Is the Gate, and The Vatican Cellars called The Counterfeiters his "first novel" is that only here did he deliberately take up the narrative implications of his moral principles.

No doubt, like his alter-ego Edouard, he was also discontent with his career, craved a seat at the post-War modernist banquet, and wished to reconnect with the young; perhaps too there was some jealousy of Proust, against the publication of whose work he had foolishly recommended. There are many intentions mixed into The Counterfeiters. Technically, though, Gide was less radical than he appears. He aimed at eschewing omniscience altogether. Gide wanted to write a post-Nietzschean novel in which god-like omniscience was dead because he had killed it.

On page one Bernard is detached from the determination of both home and genetics, fulfilling those twin fantasies of the restless bourgeois child: that he is an orphan and that he can run away. Gide weaves his theme of liberation into the form and content of his novel as well as his brand of moral relativism by making the work "Cubist" in portraying multiple points of view. The Counterfeiters is a pluralistic novel, offering many distinct voices. Through the manner of his storytelling he is able to convey his moral convictions directly: that one should put oneself at the disposal of life without prejudices, be tolerant of other viewpoints, and relish the relativity of the modern world rather than deriding or complaining about it.

There is another sort of tyranny Gide sought abolish, that of the authors of the last generation over their readers. So far is the putative author of The Counterfeiters from omniscience that he is actually self-effacing.

While the novel bites off quite a lot, it is the reader who gets to do the chewing. As the author is not omniscient, so he cannot be omnipresent. One of causes of the openness achieved by the novel is the sense that the characters are pursuing their lives outside our ken.

If we are to follow Edouard down a Parisian boulevard, then we cannot also keep our eye on Georges disappearing around a corner. Gide intended The Counterfeiters to take place, as much as possible, in the present tense, like a film.

The author may also be compared to a camera with a bland personality. The novel unfolds like music; in order to come to life, a symphony must also be performed in the present. What makes all this possible is the role of Edouard, the novelist who is pin in the pinwheel.

At thirty-eight, Edouard is younger than the parental generation, the settled Profitendieus, Moliniers, and Vedels, about a decade older than the young adults, Vincent, Laura, and Douviers, yet still very much in contact with the eighteen-year-olds, Olivier and Bernard.

Edouard sits at the center of a web of generations and characters. Unfixed himself, Edouard moves easily among both the settled and the unsettled. But Edouard serves another purpose for Gide; it is on Edouard that Gide palms off the traditional apparatus he wished to avoid. Nevertheless, the closer one looks at what it says about freedom-"such freedom as is possible today," as Kafka put it-the more melancholy one feels.

Forster on The Counterfeiters E. Les Faux Monnayeurs is among the more interesting of recent works: not among the vital: and greatly as we shall have to admire it as a fabric we cannot praise it unrestrictedly now. Forster, 80 Even though he first mentions the book in his lecture on character, what really fascinates Forster about the novel is its method of narration, which he finds as "illogical" as that of Bleak House but worse, because it is intentional:.

There is the same absence of viewpoint, but whereas in Dickens it was instinctive, in Gide it is sophisticated; he expatiates too much about the jolts. The two are not identical. If it is Gide Forster is calling "the author," then as the indisputable writer of every word of The Counterfeiters, the author is indeed omniscient, not intermittently so.

If, however, Forster means the putative author inside the novel, the author of Chapter VII, then it seems the author enjoys no sort of omniscience whatever.

Yes, he does indeed judge his characters and sharply, especially Edouard and Bernard; but he is far from being omniscient. In fact, he is virtually as ignorant as the reader of what is going to happen in Part Three. Evidently, they are free to surprise him, are at the disposal of life and may develop as they like. His behavior to Laura-at times so generous--has at times seemed to me revolting It was not I who sought them out; while following Bernard and Olivier I found them in my path.

So much the worse for me; henceforth it is my duty to attend them. But an excess is not an absence any more than omniscience can be partial. He then identifies The Counterfeiters as just such a book, "a violent onslaught on the plot as [I] have defined it: a constructive attempt to put something in place of the plot" Instead of telling us at once what this something is, or how a violent onslaught can be constructive, Forster, who must have loathed Chinese boxes and Russian dolls, chides Gide for publishing his diary along with his novel After all, the novel can be intelligibly seen as an elaborate exploration of the causes of the death of little Boris, and so Gide has hardly ignored the principle of causality by which Forster distinguishes plot from mere story.

He notes that The Counterfeiters actually strings together a series of entirely conventional plot-fragments, the stories of the Molinier brothers, Bernard, Laura, etc. These bits of plot are "logical objective," Forster admits, "but by no means the centre of the book" Forster includes his own translation of an extended extract of this conversation and stresses what Edouard calls his subject: ". As for plot-to pot with plot, break it up, boil it down.

Let there be those "formidable erosions of contour" of which Nietzsche speaks. All that is prearranged is false. These fragments are scrupulously thought out and artfully related: witness the symmetry of Bernard spending an improving summer with the decent novelist Edouard, while Olivier is nearly destroyed by his summer with the literary poseur Passavant; consider such deliberately, even musically, repeated themes as parental infidelity Mme.

Gide has dispensed with neither plot nor character-nor, for that matter, with causality, logic, or premeditation. His novel is self-conscious rather than subconscious.

However, I agree with Forster in one respect: the ex-Calvinist author has striven mightily to free his book of every sort of tyranny.


The Counterfeiters Quotes

It tells the story of a multitude of characters, each of which symbolizes the different incarnations of the author, declaims all philosophical theories on the novel and art and human relations and develops them up to convince the reader, just before continuing in another character taken in a new context generally an idea that has everything contradictory and which appears to us just as right. In the end the story shows the meeting of various personalities of the author. The story in itself is that of two young friends a few weeks before their examination of the baccalaureate which, leaving high school in the s, live an adventure that could be described as astonishing literary. They will continue the adventure together but we will have their points of view to both, on each side, which will give us the impression of two parallel paths rather than a common history. In the inter-war that exploits this novel, we applaud a fair and exciting painting of the freedom of spirit, of creation, of artistic movement of that time when we caught our breath of a war passed and where the emotion was tending to fall back, where we were finally rebuilding, and where morals tend to be liberalized. In the novel, the author gives us to see a literary meeting where we see some great figures of the time, like Alfred Jarry who looks at this moment of a man overbearing, crazy and slightly offbeat reality by this original character that he plays in society. Overall we follow the vision of characters who seek to create journals, to write, to poise, and finally to revolutionize the classical form of writing.


[PDF] The Counterfeiters Book by Andre Gide Free Download (467 pages)

In , he became mayor of La Roque-Baignard , a commune in Normandy. In , Gide rented the property Maderia in St. This period, —07, is commonly seen as a time of apathy and turmoil for him. Gide and Marc fled to London, in retribution for which his wife burned all his correspondence — "the best part of myself," he later commented.


André Gide



The Counterfeiters


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