|Letter to The
Chronicle of Higher Education
(published 13 May, 2005)
Read What Malraux Wrote
To the Editor:
It is good to see Carlin Romano's essay on
André Malraux, an author who merits much more attention than he
Malraux: the Last American Frenchman," The
If only Malraux had been a Sartre or a
Derrida, rarely venturing out of his
I notice also that Carlin Romano says, somewhat condescendingly, that "Man's Fate and Man's Hope remain readable, believable, and heartfelt." Has he forgotten The Voices of Silence and The Metamorphosis of the Gods, arguably among the best works on visual art written in the 20th century? Not to mention the Miroir des Limbes series, beginning with the Antimémoires?
My advice to readers interested in Malraux is to forget the biographies and the endless additions to the Malraux myth. Large dollops of it are unreliable, if not outright fantasy. Read Malraux himself. Judge him by what he wrote.
He saw himself first and foremost as a writer, and it's as a writer, I believe, that he would want most of all to be judged.