“Art is the collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better.”
André Gide (1869-1951)
A native of Normandy, Gide published his first novel at 22 and went on to write dozens more, as well as plays, essays and autobiographical works, receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1947. Much of his writing centers on the search for intellectual honesty in a world constrained by false moralism. Controversy swirled around him almost his entire life, principally for his open attraction to men much younger than himself, and for his marriage to his cousin, never consummated, while siring a daughter with another woman. In his politics Gide seemed to worship Soviet Communism from afar, until he visited Russia in the 1930’s, after which he became its vocal critic. He spent a significant portion of his life in the then French colonies of North and Central Africa and passed the bulk of the Second World War in Tunisia, but ultimately returned to Paris before his death.