History Of Andre Malraux's Man's Fate

2077 words - 8 pages

History of Andre Malraux’s Man’s Fate The French writer Andre Malraux succumbed to his fascination with Oriental culture when he wrote the book, Man’s Fate, which won him the Prix Goncourt in 1933. His frequent trips to Asia familiarized him with Oriental culture and history. The book is his personal indictment of the beaurocratic society, which had humiliated him during his stint in Indochina as founder of the newspaper L'Indochine. His entire body of work follows the groundswell of contemporary ideologies, from the Chinese nationalist and Communist revolution of the twenties to the Spanish Civil War of 1936, not forgetting his obstinate and stubborn battle against Nazism (Raynouard). A particular episode of the Chinese revolution provided inspiration for the book; there was an attempt on Monin's life by an Annamese, which was most probably paid by the Chinese criminal investigation department itself. This attempted murder had such an impact on Malraux that he began Man’s Fate with the scene of the killer pulling aside Monin's mosquito net by night, brandishing the razor with which he was to attack him.Man’s Fate is considered one of his most masterful pieces of work based on real life events that happened during his lifetime. Malraux’s theme in this novel is the solitude that distinguishes the human condition, and he draws his characters from a variety of national backgrounds and examines the political and personal differences, which mark them as, isolated, alienated beings. For them, revolution is a means by which they can transcend their lives and their feelings of despair. Malraux focuses on the Shanghai uprising of 1927, which was organized by the communists and repressed by the nationalist General Tchang-Kai-Shek. The three main characters in the story are Kyo, son of a Japanese mother and a French intellectual; Katov, Russian militant; and Chen, the terrorist, who is the only Chinese character in the team (Lacouture 145).Although the particular historical events around which his novels revolve may change, several recurrent themes dominate Malraux’s literary perspective. For instance, exoticism and violence, blindness and suffering, and the ubiquitous presence of death appear throughout his writings. Malraux portrays the human condition as tragic, but it is precisely in confronting this situation, that man experiences hope. His novel, therefore oscillate between the pessimism of individual existence and the optimism of collective action.He called his book a report, but it is in fact largely a work of fiction. Newspaper cuttings, and pieces of information taken from his friend Georges Manue, a reporter who had covered the communist militant uprising in China, form the basis of a storyline (Lacouture 146). Malraux's The following are objectives are clearly defined in Man’s Fate: to show the...

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