By Jocelyn Van Tuyl
The 1st entire research of Gide’s overlooked wartime writings.
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Extra info for Andre Gide and the Second World War: A Novelist's Occupation
58 That hidden insignia is highly symbolic: it represents the looming threat of Nazi expansionism, against which the Soviet Union seemed to offer the only defense. Gide’s great transgression on coming home would be to express his disenchantment with Moscow in a manner that many feared would facilitate Berlin’s conquests. Throughout his Soviet tour, Gide was fêted and congratulated; he was taken to view an exhibit on his life and works at Moscow University and enticed by a swimming pool filled, for his benefit, with handsome young Red army soldiers.
Pétain’s explanations are clear, reasonable, and are the only ones we had any right to expect,” Gide wrote on 26 June: “I yield to his reasons, and cannot keep my mind in the state of protest I felt the day before yesterday. There is nothing to do but submit and accept, alas! ”59 Gide later chose to suppress this diary entry that invalidates the picture of surefooted progress toward resistance sentiments that he sought to present to the world. At the time, however, his approval of Pétain put him squarely in the mainstream of French opinion.
In the meantime, however, came a period of involvement with the wartime Nouvelle Revue Française under the leadership of the Germans’ handpicked editor, fascist writer Pierre Drieu La Rochelle. F. ”1 The Nouvelle Revue Française, cofounded by André Gide in 1908, was extraordinarily influential: though primarily literary in nature, the internationally read monthly was also a forum for a diverse range of political opinion. F. urged rapprochement with Germany, but a deepening schism developed among its contributors after the Nazi Party took power in 1933 (Cornick 98).