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Den trånga porten : roman (1909)

av André Gide

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MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1,3772313,659 (3.61)59
A delicate boy growing up in Paris, Jerome Pallisier spends many summers at his uncle's house in the Normandy countryside, where the whole world seems 'steeped in azure'. There he falls deeply in love with his cousin Alissa and she with him. But gradually Alissa becomes convinced that Jerome's love for her is endangering his soul. In the interest of his salvation, she decides to suppress everything that is beautiful in herself - in both mind and body. A devastating exploration of aestheticism taken to extremes, Strait is the Gateis a novel of haunting beauty that stimulates the mind and the emotions.… (mer)
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» Se även 59 omnämnanden

engelska (19)  finska (1)  franska (1)  italienska (1)  nederländska (1)  Alla språk (23)
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This is a difficult story to appreciate today, removed from its original context. Alissa and Jerome love each other, and Alissa's sister Juliette also loves Jerome. Oh, and they're first cousins who grew up around each other. Alissa tries to give Jerome up to her sister, but Juliette matches the sacrifice by immediately marrying some random guy who appeared on the scene in order to remove herself from the picture.

Alissa though continues and takes to a far extreme her self-sacrifice. She has the idea that human love is vastly inferior to love of God and that it indeed gets in the way.
"What can the soul prefer to happiness?" I cried, impetuously. She whispered: "Holiness..."
She tells Jerome:
"In the first moments of your stay at Fongueusemare it was astonishment that I felt - soon after it was uneasiness - at the strange contentment that filled my whole being in your presence; 'a contentment so great,' you said, 'that I desire nothing beyond!' Alas! that is just what makes me uneasy... 'If it did not suffice, it would not be happiness,' you said, do you remember? And I did not know what to answer. No, Jerome, it does not suffice us. Jerome, it must not suffice us. I cannot take this delicious contentment for the true one... We were born for a happiness other than that..."
In the name of this love of God, she continually pushes Jerome away, renouncing human love and happiness. Having renounced earthly pleasure, she naturally wastes away and dies, though only about in her late twenties. Jerome is given her diary after her death, in which she writes that she loves him so much that she has failed to love God more. Despairing, she resolved to help Jerome reach that height of religious virtue that she was unable to reach herself by making it so he could not love her any longer.
Alas! I understand now only too well: between God and him there is no other obstacle but myself. If perhaps, as he says, his love for me at first inclined him to God, now that very love hinders him; he lingers with me, prefers me, and I am become the idol that keeps him back from making further progress in virtue. One of us two must needs attain to it; and as I despair of overcoming the love in my coward heart, grant me, my God, vouchsafe me strength to teach him to love me no longer, so that at the cost of my merits I may bring Thee his, which are so infinitely preferable... Was he not born for something better than to love me?
The cost of her unasked for sacrifice is soon her death, and the last line she writes is, "I should like to die now, quickly, before again realising that I am alone." As a final twist of the knife, Gide has Jerome visit Juliette ten years after Alissa's death, Juliette with 5 children now, and he tells her that he will not love another woman for the rest of his life. She asks him,
"Then you think that one can keep a hopeless love in one's heart for so long as that? And that life can breathe upon it every day, without extinguishing it?"
She puts her hands to her face and begins to cry, and we cannot doubt it is her own love for Jerome of which she was speaking. Lord a'mighty.

Though today we idealize and elevate romantic love, and the deists among us seemingly naturally place God's blessing upon it, this was not always the case. Among the turn of the twentieth century Protestants in northern France, apparently, romantic love and love of God were sometimes seen as rivals, or at least in tension with each other. Gide wrote this novel as a cautionary tale, to explore the taking of this attitude to the extreme. It is a twin tale to his novel The Immoralist, where Michel pursues the opposite extreme of earthly pleasure, also to disaster.

It was also a shot at his wife's tendencies, with whom the homosexual Gide had an unconsummated relationship. His wife who was also his cousin. While The Immoralist, in which a married homosexual man is attracted to Arab boys, is a shot at his own. ( )
  lelandleslie | Feb 24, 2024 |
Charmingly written, but pretty juvenile. The two main characters are doing some long-distance pining, being idealistic (there's religious imagery) and naïve, playing at 'serious' romance, all in all being the immature teenagers they well, are. The novel does not get much beyond this simple portrayal, but it's ok for what it is. ( )
  Maxim2 | Nov 15, 2023 |
Charmingly written, but pretty juvenile. The two main characters are doing some long-distance pining, being idealistic (there's religious imagery) and naïve, playing at 'serious' romance, all in all being the immature teenagers they well, are. The novel does not get much beyond this simple portrayal, but it's ok for what it is. ( )
  Maxim. | Jun 17, 2023 |
1964 edition, photo on back cover by Daniel Filipacchi; loosely inserted is a previous owner's black and white photo taken in 1962, Ocean.
  jon1lambert | Apr 27, 2023 |
This book was powerfully written, and consequently depressing and nearly boring (because of the nature of the material) read. It was very theoretically interesting, but a little underdeveloped and hard to relate to. ( )
  graceandbenji | Sep 1, 2022 |
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» Lägg till fler författare (11 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Gide, Andréprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Bussy, DorothyÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
義雄, 山内Översättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Frasconi, AntonioOmslagsformgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Nijhoff, A.H.Översättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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"Efforcez-vous d'entrer par la porte étroite" (Luc. XIII, 24)
"Strive to enter in at the straight gate" (Luc. XIII, 24)
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D'autres en auraient pu faire un livre; mais l'histoire que je raconte ici, j'ai mis toute ma force à la vivre et ma vertu s'y est usée.
Some people might have made a book out of it; but the story I am going to tell is one which took all my strength to live and over which I spent all my virtue.
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A delicate boy growing up in Paris, Jerome Pallisier spends many summers at his uncle's house in the Normandy countryside, where the whole world seems 'steeped in azure'. There he falls deeply in love with his cousin Alissa and she with him. But gradually Alissa becomes convinced that Jerome's love for her is endangering his soul. In the interest of his salvation, she decides to suppress everything that is beautiful in herself - in both mind and body. A devastating exploration of aestheticism taken to extremes, Strait is the Gateis a novel of haunting beauty that stimulates the mind and the emotions.

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