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By Thomas Cordle (auth.)
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It points beyond the immediate question of morals to those who raise the question, that "court of fools" who appeared in Paludes and who will turn up again in Les Caves du Vatican. The desire for seH-perfection through understanding, commitment, and action is depicted in three modes: as low comedy by Cocles and Damocles, as heroic myth by Promethee, and as pastoral romance by Tityre. " Is man the only being capable of an unconditioned action; or is he, on the contrary, the being whose acts are all conditioned by his consciousness?
The eggs roll down the precipices, break, and stain the sea. ) In the polar climate the knights suffer from scurvy, brought on by the absence of pleasure. They dream of the pernicious islands they have left behind them and of the ripe fruits they dared not taste. Urien finds in the snows another Ellis, the true one, who says to him: "Urienl Urien, sad brother! If only you had gone on dreaming of mel Remember our games in other times. Why did you try, in your ennui, to grasp an accidental image of me?
On the other hand, it is the image of a mind forcing itself away from the contemplation of phenomenal reality toward a reflection on the abstract ideal. The threefold voyage of the Orion is representative of a number of "outlines" that we have discovered in Gide's personality. Miss Bree has remarked that Gide's thought as a whole tends to fall into three categories: the sensual, the introspective, and the metaphysical. These are also the three centers of his sensibility and of his private mythology.
André Gide by Thomas Cordle (auth.)