André Malraux... My... Inspiration...

André Malraux...

French... author...

Social... critic...

Flamboyant... statesman...

Captivates me...

My total admiration... for everything French in general... Paris... in particular... and mostly... for the enigmatic and powerful intellect of...

André Malraux...

His "literary oeuvres"... extensive writings on Art... literature... religion... history... and culture... is compelling...

He... intrigues...

He... bewitches...

I have developed... an "intellectual crush"... on this most fascinating... "cultural mentor"...

Having... just completed reading his impressive novel... "La Condition Humaine"... (Man's Fate)... a novel... about the failed Communist rebellion in the exotic city of Shanghai in 1927... (clearly demonstrating the author's obvious sympathy for the Communists)... which won the "Prix Goncourt" Literary Prize in 1933... and catapulted Malraux to global attention... compelled me to delve further into exploring his extensive and impressive body of work... and formidable achievements...

His... "Les Voix du Silence"... followed by the three volumes of... "La Métamorphose des dieux" (The Metamorphosis of the Gods)... "L'Homme précaire et la littérature" (Precarious Man and Literature), and "La Voie royale" (The Royal Way)... which he wrote about his exploratory expedition into the Cambodian jungle... at the age of twenty one...

While in Indochina... in 1925... he founded a newspaper... "L'Indochine"... based on his highly critical view of the French colonial authorities...

Returning to France... he published "La Tentation de l'Occident" (The Temptation of the West)... a form of letters written between a Westerner and an Asian... in which the author compares the difference between the two cultures...

"Les Conquérants" (The Conquerors)... published in 1928... was hugely influenced by his observations and experiences in Cambodia...

Malraux was active in the "Front populaire"... an anti-fascist alliance of left-wing movements in the 1930's...

He also joined the Republican forces in Spain... at the start of the Spanish Civil War...

His acute sense of social justice and caring for humanity was... palpable... admirable... prompting President John F. Kennedy... to honour the distinguished French Malraux...

"I suppose all of us wish to participate in all the experiences of life... but he has left us all behind".

During the Second World War, our author joined the French Army... was captured in 1940, but escaped... later to join the French Resistance... He was arrested by the Gestapo in 1944... but went on to lead a tank unit of the French Army...

Malraux... was awarded the "Médaille de la Résistance" and the "Croix de guerre"... as well as the "Distinguished Service Order"... by the British... for working with British liaison officers in Corrèze, Dordogne and Lot...

Heroic...

The charming French minister... was largely responsible for helping the bewitching... Jackie Kennedy... the then American First Lady... to realise her dream of exhibiting Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa"... in the National Gallery of Art... in Washington D.C....

"Je vais vous envoyer "La Joconde"... the charismatic Malraux whispered softly in Jackie's besotted ear... prompting her to confide... after the successful exhibit...

"You know... these are the moments in history I will remember... the rest of my life".

Having been appointed "Minister of Information" (in 1945 to 1946) by General Charles de Gaulle, and later becoming "Minister of State" in De Gaulle's 1958–1959 government, and France's first "Minister of Cultural Affairs"... Malraux brilliantly served De Gaulle during his entire presidency (1959–1969).

Malraux... created "Maisons de la Culture"... in provincial cities and achieved a great deal in preserving France's national heritage.

He was a vociferous supporter of the Bangladesh liberation movement during the 1971 Pakistani Civil War...

Brave courage...

The many-faceted... multi-talented Malraux... worked as editor on the series "L’Univers des formes" (Arts of Mankind)... a survey of world art... that produced more than thirty illustrated volumes... also publishing the first volume of a... trilogy on art... "The Metamorphosis of the Gods"... the two other volumes were published just before he died.

His fascinating... "Antimémoires"... was published in 1967... part of a series of semi-autobiographical works... one of which was "Lazarus" - a reflection on death - after experiencing a serious illness.

"La Tete d'obsidienne"... 1974... (Picasso's Mask)... depicted Picasso and visual art.

His take on Art... such as in "Les Voix du silence" (The Voices of Silence)... challenge the attitude that Art is... "simply a source of aesthetic pleasure".

Malraux's last novel... "The Struggle with the Angel"... which he wrote during the Second World War... was influenced by the story of the Biblical Jacob. Having been destroyed by the Gestapo... a surviving first section of the manuscript... "Les Noyers de l'Altenburg"... (The Walnut Trees of Altenburg)... was published after the war.

André Malraux...

Indefatigable... prolific... impressive...

"One of the striking figures and truly original minds of the era"...

A powerful presence...

I am... so completely mesmerised... by this enchanting man's ideology... his courage... his valour... his passion for the Arts... culture... humanity... for life itself...

He is...

"a dream of civilisation and beauty"...

Reading his words... his thoughts...

I was... beguiled...

Intrigued...

By a man... who transported me to another realm...

"Un autre... voyage"...

"Un autre... rêve"...

André Malraux...

You are...

My...

Inspiration...

a.

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