By Jocelyn Van Tuyl
The 1st whole learn of Gide’s ignored wartime writings.
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Additional resources for Andre Gide and the Second World War: A Novelist's Occupation
How can one speak of France as “intact” after handing over to the enemy more than half of the country? How to make these words fit those noble words he pronounced three days ago? How can one fail to approve Churchill? 56 Is it not enough for France to be conquered? Must she also be dishonored? (J 4: 24)57 In later years, Gide would point to this early expression of support for de Gaulle as proof of his long-standing resistance allegiances. What he concealed throughout his lifetime was the retraction, two days later, of the Journal’s denunciation of Pétain.
63 Despite this eleventh-hour addition, the Retour and subsequent Retouches caused irreparable damage to Gide’s standing with the communist intelligentsia. A further twist of the knife, from the communists’ point of view, came when Gide joined Georges Duhamel, Roger Martin du Gard, François Mauriac, and Paul Rivet in protesting the Spanish Republican government’s treatment of political prisoners in Catalonia (LE 197; Rubenstein 170). Writing in the pages of Izvestia on 3 November 1937, Ilya Ehrenburg denounced Gide in no uncertain terms.
Gide’s consistent and vigorous criticism of his own side’s less than admirable actions—as well as the animosity engendered among French communists by his prewar stance on Spain and the Soviet Union—would lead to vicious attacks on Gide during and after the Second World War. GIDE’S “AFTERLIFE” To read many biographical and critical studies, one might almost think that Gide died after his Soviet odyssey—or, to put it more accurately, that he merely slipped into silence, into his dotage, into the oft-touted “serenity” he evinced on his deathbed in 1951.
Andre Gide and the Second World War: A Novelist's Occupation by Jocelyn Van Tuyl
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