By Roberta Newnham
Aimed to coincide with the centenary of Malraux's delivery, André Malraux: An Age of Oppression is the 1st translation/annotated version of Le Temps de mépris in a complete layout. the tale (with the emphasis upon the mental trauma suffered via a German political prisoner of the Nazis within the early Nineteen Thirties) marks an important second in Malraux's literary oeuvre, and a prophetic perception into the old implications of the placement triumphing in pre-World battle II Nazi Germany.
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Extra info for Andre Malraux: An Age of Oppression
The knocking was going to start again soon... Trying to think clearly and concentrate was one of the greatest efforts he had ever made in the whole of his life. He could not get the picture of a raised hand just missing a passing fly out of his mind. However, he did manage to take in the fact that the other man was tapping out thirteen numbers. If I could reduce them to a single number, maybe I’d remember it. No. Too long. How about halving it? Maybe... Silence. He waited, scarcely able to breathe, his entire body convulsed by his feverish efforts.
He realised that they were not long enough yet. Couldn’t he find something else? A friend of his had asked for one of his veins to be severed after his death so that he could be sure his circulation really would have stopped. Kassner distinctly remembered the sight of the scalpel an assistant was using (the doctor had refused to do it) to poke around in the flesh which by then had stopped bleeding, searching for the thin, white vein. He’d poke around for his own in the same way, even if he couldn’t see it, he’d try to find his own plump, pulsating vein, getting his fingertips all bloody while he fumbled for it...
He hadn’t gone deaf: he could hear himself knocking and walking round, and he could still hear the confused rumble of all the goings-on in the prison above the persistent drone of the religious chanting going on in his head. The guards had opened a nearby door. Had they just caught the man who had been knocking on the wall or had they simply happened to order him outside his cell? His hopes faded, just as the music had done earlier, plunging him once more into a numbed daze. Yet he still managed to keep straining his ears just in case the knocking would start again.