Books by John E Garrod
View John E Garrod’s biography
Roger Martin du Gard, Moralist
by John E Garrod
Roger Martin du Gard won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1937. Although not strictly speaking a biography, this book illuminates Martin du Gard`s attitudes towards creativity, religion, politics, health, life and death, sexuality, marriage, friendship and his personal values.
It reveals the personality of the writer, with quotations in French from RMG`s Journal as well as from his regular correspondence with Gide, Duhamel and many others.
He was a pacifist but nevertheless served in a supply unit with his brother during World War I and great was his concern when Word War II approached. He sailed with his wife to Guadaloupe and Martinique just before the war but when it broke out his wife insisted on returning to France, where he had a difficult war, mostly in Nice despite owning a house in the Orne and a small flat in Paris.
The book describes the difficulties encountered in his marriage, between the intense faith of Helene Martin du Gard and his own atheism which became indifference later in life, when his sociability also began to dwindle. By taking each subject chronologically, the book traces the ups and downs and changes in a life of great value to literature.
The fruit of much erudite and objective work to review, compile and compare all the personal writings of RMG, it covers not only his fictional work and plays but also his general correspondence, intimate letters and Journal echoing the views to be found in his novels.
Over and above the writer, it gives the portrait of a man in all his complexity, with his strengths and weaknesses, his convictions and his contradictions, showing the full richness of his personality, and throwing an interesting light on the vies of the characters in his novels.
This is by far the most comprehensive work in English on this highly-regarded French author.
£20 free p&p within EU; add £5 outside EU