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SCOTTO, Louis. "The Temptation of Individual Terrorism Seen by André Malraux in Les Conquérants, la Condition humaine, l’Espoir"
Article published on 21 March 2004
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Thèse de doctorat 3e cycle : Litt. et civilis. franç. Dir. Jean Lansard, Montpellier 3 : 1986. [S.l]. 373 f ; 30 cm

MONTPELLIER-BU Lettres

PARIS-SORBONNE-BIU Centrale

TOULOUSE 2-BU Lettres

Summary

Though underestimated for a long time by critics, the anarcho-terrorist hero plays a major role in Andre Malraux’s works of the thirties. Involved in the revolutionary struggle by the side of the communist hero, the terrorist however remains diametrically opposed to the latter concerning the finalities of the revolution, since he does not, indeed, believe in a better society. For him, who comes from the world of everlasting distress, only absolute revolt is able to restore the humiliated man to his dignity -if only temporarily. Thus, the tragedy of life conditioned by the absence of god and the prevailing of absurdity, can only be offset by violent action and self denial.

Concurrently, as the hero grows fascinated by the use of terrorism, he also distances himself irreversibly from those around him. The continuous presence of death by his side paradoxically releases him from the qualms felt by other heroes and gives him complete power over his victims. Then temptation arises, since the metamorphosis he undergoes results in the attentat becoming a challenge against the whole of creation.

Basically different from the remaining characters, the terrorist is in reality the illustration of uncommon values, sometimes very much influenced by Nietzschean thought. For one decade, from "les Conquérants" to "l’Espoir", he is even the privileged exponent of a heroic and tragic individualism, to which the author then seems very sensitive.

Therefore, the identifying signs which define the terrorist’s originality in the text confirm in this way several important statements which are rarely cited- about André Malraux’s attraction for certain aspects of "anarchy".


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