Ill and disinclined to make any selection of his own for this an-
thology, M. Gide is represented by fragments from two books out of
his fifteen volumes of criticism, essays, dramatic and novel writing,
much of which has not yet been translated into English. The editor
owes his thanks to Justin O'Brien for the suggestion that a repre-
sentative quality of the French Nobel Prize winner might be found
in selections from The Fruits of the Earth and The New Fruits, the
first of which was published in 1897 and again in 1927, and the
second book of which was issued in 1935 and re-issued in 1949.
Justin O'Brien is contributor to the Columbia Dictionary of Modern
Literature and Professor of Contemporary French Literature at
Columbia University, and translator of The Journals of André Gide.
DO NOT HOPE, Nathaniel, to find God here or there--but everywhere.
Every creature points to God, none reveals Him.
Every creature we let our eyes dwell on distracts us from God.
While other people were publishing or working, I, on the contrary, devoted three years of travel to forgetting all that I had learned with my head. This unlearning was slow and difficult; it was of more use to me than all the learning imposed by men, and was really the beginning of an education.
You will never know the efforts it cost us to become interested in life; but now that life does interest us, it will be like everything else --passionately.
I chastised my flesh gladly, taking more pleasure in the chastisement than in the fault--so intoxicating was the pride I took in not sinning simply.