Gide's attitude to reality : its role in his approach to the symbolist movement

Hesson, Ian Matthew (1977) Gide's attitude to reality : its role in his approach to the symbolist movement. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

In this thesis it is proposed to consider the role of Gide's attitude to reality in his development of a view of art which persuaded him to ally himself temporarily with the Symbolist school. In a short introduction the point will be made that Gide's first accurate knowledge of Symbolist theory came in an article which he read in January, 1891, two months after the completion of the Cahiers d'André Walter, and that he immediately declared himself to be a Symbolist. -- In the first chapter the article in La Plume will be analysed in order to discover the definition of Symbolism with which Gide identified. Further study will be undertaken to isolate the views on art which Gide and the Symbolists held in common. -- The development of Gide's attitude to reality will then be examined in the light of basic Freudian psychology. The influence of his upbringing on his relationship to the world around him will be discussed. In particular an attempt will be made to evaluate the relationship between his neurotic anxiety, the dichotomy in his personality and the weakness of his hold on reality. These aspects of Gide's personality will then be considered as they are reflected and projected in the Cahiers d'André Walter. -- On the basis of the findings made above, the Cahiers d'André Walter will be studied from the point of view of the function which it fulfils in Gide's life. An attempt will be made to explain why the writing of his first work lifted Gide from despair and opened up new vistas for him. The absolute state in which the work of art is created will be examined, and its unique value of allowing both parts of Gide's personality to find expression will be indicated. -- In the conclusion it is proposed to show that the attraction of Symbolism for Gide lay in the fact that Symbolist theory confirmed what he had found in writing the Cahiers d'André Walter: that art was a means of attaining a superior form of reality, which in Gide's case was the integration of his personality.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7788
Item ID: 7788
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 170-175.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > French and Spanish
Date: 1977
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Gide, André, 1869-1951; Symbolism in literature

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