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That book's production was problematic. Stols and Malraux had a few run-ins with each other. Stols was responsible for printing the text; Alexandra Grinevski's etchings were printed by Edmond Rigal's business in Fontenay-aux-Roses. The type had to be changed several times, because Malraux adjusted the commission.

This of course raised the costs, and a big argument about the price followed. Stols did not receive another commission. In spite of these problems, the result was a colourful and handsome book. In Stols published a clandestine Dutch edition of it with listed as the year of publication : Moer , translated by the poet Martinus Nijhoff.

That very same year, he also met Oscar Wilde. Nervous moods and emotional crises defined his younger years.

As a homosexual, he had a loose lifestyle, but he did marry his niece Madeleine Rondeaux in a remedy against homosexuality that was fashionable at the time. His novels began to cause scandals as he lashed out more clearly against hypocrisy, Catholicism, and colonialism. According to critic Menno ter Braak, it was mostly 'the distaste for this kind of jovial, mechanical ossification' that 'drove Gide to communism'. Ter Braak read his diary, Pages de journal , 'as a protest against European morality of the bourgeoisie that has developed into a sport'.

He suspected that Gide's communist leanings were considered 'amateurish' by hardcore communists. Years later, Gide was to take a stance against the dictatorship of communism in Russia. Homosexuality and communism were two interests he shared with Dutchman Jef Last, who held an implausible number of jobs: farmer, miner, fisherman, navy sailor, assistant manager at Enka, factory labourer, taxi driver, gardener, head of the film ratings board, secretary, and man of letters.

Last is one of the few Dutchmen to be commemorated in any of Gide's biographies- Stols for instance isn't even mentioned. In he travelled to Russia with Gide, where the famous author was given a warm welcome: special carriages on the train, factory personnel on parade, banquets, cheering crowds, and Stalin's personal bed in the dictator's dacha offered to him for the night.

None of this impressed Gide: he mainly noticed the failure of the communist experiment, and wrote Retour de l'URSS In Gide published Paludes , a light-hearted satire of literary Paris. He started working on it in North Africa, and then travelled to Switzerland for his health, meanwhile working on the novel Les Nourritures terrestres. He experienced a short but romantic affair with a boatswain on Lake Como, and wrote to his mother about it in covert terms.

He imposed a strict daily rhythm upon himself: five hours of piano playing, four hours of walking in the mountains, two hours of bathing and gymnastics, and writing, reading, and sleeping. The ironic tone of Paludes camouflaged Gide's previous, rather desperate condition, making the book one of the first modern French narratives according to Nathalie Sarraute and Roland Barthes.

Paludes is very ironic and unpoetic. It's a story within a story, featuring a writer who is writing Paludes ; the characters discuss both the author and the book, the protagonist of which is named Tityre a reference to Tytyrus from Virgil's shepherd poems.

He lives a lonely life in an isolated tower, without doing much of anything. The main narrator meanwhile leads a public life and subjects himself to the rituals of the literary salon, but does little else: he visits his friends, receives them in his home, and tells everyone how his writing is coming along. The book ends where it began, with a visit from a friend who asks him what he is doing.

The answer is once more: 'writing. The edition is a nicely balanced book with one frontispiece, 11 illustrations and 8 smaller vignettes: all copper engravings in several colours. The illustrator, Alexandra Grinevsky, was the first wife of artist and filmmaker Alexandre Alosha Alexeieff. Originally, he had been supposed to make the illustrations. Alexeieff developed an animation technique in the s on which he, Claire Parker his wife-to-be , Etienne Raik and Grinevsky collaborated.

Grinevsky's role in the production team was not entirely clear. She divorced Alexeieff in she had met him when she was 19, and they had a daughter together.

She worked in Etienne Reich's movie studios from until her death. Very little biographical information is known about her. As far as we know, she didn't illustrate more than five books. Pierre Normand wrote of this that the illustrations were interesting, undisciplined and sometimes unprofessional. Grinevsky was born in St. Petersburg in and died in Paris in The copy of Paludes in the Koopman Collection has a double connection with the Netherlands: it was printed by a Dutchman, and was also dedicated to a Dutch collector by Gide personally.

Gide wrote in the front of the book: 'I write my name in this beautiful book with great pleasure, since it belongs to Louis Jean Koopman, who knows how to appreciate books like this.

These same bookbinders also produced its deluxe slipcase. Bookbinder Marcellin Semet and gilder Georges Plumelle were partners from to , after which Plumelle continued on his own until Their bindings often display beautiful, modern patterns, but for the Koopman Collection, which contains 21 signed Semet et Plumelle bindings, the binders created beautifully coloured, but sober bindings.

This binding is deep blue, while others are ochre, brown, green and red. These simple, undecorated bindings are called Jansenist bindings. Year: Artist: Alexandra Grinevski. Download original image. Dedication copy The copy of Paludes in the Koopman Collection has a double connection with the Netherlands: it was printed by a Dutchman, and was also dedicated to a Dutch collector by Gide personally.

Stols Uitgever, typograaf: een documentatie. Amsterdam, Van Ditmar, D. Severjuchin, O. Peterburg, Izd. Put, Jef Last. Zutphen, Walburg Pers,


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In the process an aspect of the text has been obscured that has relevance both to the original context of the work's publication and for modern readers: its problematic status as diary-writing. The abundant and unconventional paratext makes conflicting claims about the nature of the work, invoking both novelistic and diaristic codes. The diary-writing in the text plays a central role in the philosophical problems confronted by the narrator. The pertinence of this experimentation to the modern field of life-writing makes this a suitable moment for another rediscovery of this text.


New Translation of Andre Gide’s Paludes


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