By Roberta Newnham
Aimed to coincide with the centenary of Malraux's start, André Malraux: An Age of Oppression is the 1st translation/annotated variation of Le Temps de mépris in a entire structure. the tale (with the emphasis upon the mental trauma suffered via a German political prisoner of the Nazis within the early Thirties) marks an important second in Malraux's literary oeuvre, and a prophetic perception into the ancient implications of the placement winning in pre-World conflict II Nazi Germany.
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The guard was looking at him consideringly, standing there with his feet planted wide apart. This bloke feels like having a bit of fun, thought Kassner. He’d heard about prisoners being made to crawl around on all fours. The guard took a step forward. Kassner was convinced he was facing either cruelty personified or someone’s compulsive urge to inflict humiliation on another, yet the face confronting him looked scarcely more menacing than a slave trader’s. He stepped backwards to keep his distance, tilting his trunk slightly forwards and lifting his left heel: if he speaks to me, I shan’t say anything, but if he tries to touch me, I’ll head-butt him in the stomach.
It overwhelmed Kassner and took possession of his senses. Gelsenkirchen13 is ice-bound: a dog is barking at a flight of wild ducks on the wing, the sound dying out in the spikily quiet, icy intimacy of the snow; loud-hailers calling for strikes are competing with the mines’ sirens; sunflowers, their yellow petals crushed and bloodstained, lying strewn out, flattened by the partisans’ fighting. Wintertime in a Mongolia grown lividly pale within only three days, where crushed, dried-up rose petals drift like dead butterflies in the dusty yellow wind; frogs croaking in the rainy dawn of a village where the palm-trees have withered, the rebel lorries’ horns honking away even during the night; the castanet-like clicketing sound of Chinese merchants fleeing before the Red Lancers14 and disappearing beneath the glow-worms at the end of a palm-fringed path.
Why watch with such fascination, so complacently, as a bearded bloke — in a gold-brocade doublet, and standing at the foot of the wall the dead partisans’ bodies are still dangling over because they’re still hanging from the enormous black bells André Malraux . 25 that the crows are ringing with their non-stop pecking — raises his arm and uses his vodka-filled glass to catch a couple of snowflakes in mid-air as they gently float down? There he stands in the profoundly dense, brooding silence, surrounded by hundreds of pieces of gilt furniture which have transformed the main street into a weird-looking drawing-room, which looks disturbingly cosy beneath the lowering sky and increasingly yellow-tinged clouds.
Andre Malraux: An Age of Oppression by Roberta Newnham