Last week, I noted that The Immoralist “caused a scandal” on its first publication in Which is the kind of thing you do when you get most of. Rereading Gide’s The Immoralist () recently that is indeed how I experienced the text. It is disturbing, upsetting even, to read. Why? In Homos in , Leo. I have been going through old classics on my shelves recently. A couple months ago, I re-read Albert Camus’ THE STRANGER and THE FALL.

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The accredit layers of acquired learning flaked away like greasepaint, offering glimpses of bare flesh, the real person hidden underneath.

The Immoralist by André Gide

The bacteria which causes tuberculosis, bacillus Mycobacterium tuberculosiswas identified in by the German physician Robert Koch. At this point there occurs a reversal in the process of homoeroticism. What he is would have been harder for Gide’s indignant readers to get at. He comments that traveling from Switzerland to Italy, “was like exchanging abstraction for life, and even though it was still winter, I thought I could smell scents everywhere. So it is with ‘The Immoralist’ I dislike Michel, the narrator and central character of the book, but I am persuaded that everything he does in the book is, for him, unavoidable.

However, the boys have become young men, and have gone on with their lives. During the apple harvest, he describes the rich fragrances filling the air: He facilitates the underprivileged to turn against each other through the use of trickery and guile so that he can watch like the most selfish of voyeurs. Enamored with his new found love for life, Michel indulges in such pleasures deemed as wrong.

Education can thus be seen as the instrument of conformism, and devotion to study as the suppression of the senses. Moreover, the fish represent Michel’s desire to master the “powerful savagery” that exists within nature and within himself, for he wishes to control the land with that “disciplined intelligence.


This is a strange tale, almost a parable. Michel seems to be glorying in his account of how he freed himself from bourgeois restraint. Unlike Gide, Michel is unable to create and play two lovers’ roles. When she learned of Gide’s love affair with a young man inshe retaliated by burning all of his letters to her. A psychological novel is focused primarily on the internal life and development of the individual, stressing thoughts, emotions, and character over plot and external events.

To attempt to understand a book as a social object is to attempt to reconstruct the habitus of the reader immoralizt to whom it might have been or might still be addressed. Michel, an accomplished archaeologist and scholar, embarks upon a journey of self-exploration that is guided by his subconscious as much as it is by any willful decision to abandon the social mores that have imposed themselves upon him.

However, reading them back-to-back enriched the effect of both. I found this book haunting, sublime and wicked.

Menalque tells Michel immodalist he believes in following one’s natural impulses, regardless of the judgments of society. With Michel greatly recovered from his illness, he and Marceline leave North Africa to travel through Italy.

Sep 07, Paquita Maria Sanchez rated it really liked it Shelves: As immoralits health improves, he tends to his vast acreage of land and resumes his academic work, growing fonder of his doormat missus, as well as power and cheating farmers.

This does not make them any less important: Quite irrational though, and given how much I enjoy Camus I obviously should give this a go. I had lived for myself or at least on my own terms till then; I had married without imagining my wife as anything but a comrade, without really supposing that, by our union, my life might be transformed.

A disturbing but important experience and a chance to reflect on the self and where one fits on the continuum. Menalque explains that he has traveled to Biskra and met many of the Arab boys whom Michel had befriended while on his honeymoon.

Gide found the way to involve all the motives and countermotives of his personality in this one plot.


The Immoralist by Andre Gide

He even imjoralist Alcide, the youngest son of Bocage, in secretly poaching game on his own grounds. He finds himself intrigued by the lives of the peasants, particularly those whose behavior is morally questionable.

Michel explains that he no longer understands anything about life, and that he needs this opportunity immorlist talk with loyal friends about what he has experienced. More than one hundred years after its initial publication, The Immoralist remains a novel of startling ideas and confessions. Thanks for the comment.

The Immoralist

Now he wants to be free of all obligation and inhibition to fully experience the pleasure and sensuality brought about by his late homosexual awakening. He must plumb the depths of his psyche and determine his ability to combat the forces of nature, much less the sense of family history associated with the farm, if he wishes to demonstrate a “disciplined intelligence” over the land and all it produces.

This is the feel of this novel: However, they sleep in separate bedrooms and their marriage is not consummated until two months after their wedding.

In the ports of Syracuse, Michel finds that he is enchanted even by the unpleasant odors of life on the docks, “The smell of sour immoralost, muddy backstreets, the stinking market frequented by dockers, tramps and drunken sailors. In Ravello, Michel becomes bolder and fide adventurous in his new celebration of life through physical and sensual experience. Now he wants to be free of all obligation and inhibition to fully experience the pleasure and sensuality brought about by his late homosexual awakening.

Skip to secondary content. Merrick, Jeffrey, and Bryant T. Gide was certainly not immune to colonizing impulses as he himself recognizedand yet those very impulses were perhaps the precondition for a potentially revolutionary eroticism.