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Strait is the Gate (La Porte etroite) [Paperback]

Our Price $ 13.81  
Retail Value $ 14.85  
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Item Number 384986  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   112
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.3" Width: 5.3" Height: 0.5"
Weight:   0.25 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 8, 2007
Publisher   Mondial
ISBN  159569062X  
EAN  9781595690623  

Availability  56 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 22, 2016 05:32.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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Item Description...
"Strait is the Gate", first published in 1909 in France as "La Porte etroite", is a novel about the failure of love in the face of the narrowness of the moral philosophy of Protestantism. --- Andr Gide (1869 - 1951) was a French author and winner of the Nobel Prize in literature in 1947. Gide's career spanned from the symbolist movement to the advent of anticolonialism in between the two World Wars. Gide's work can be seen as an investigation of freedom and empowerment in the face of moralistic and puritan constraints, and gravitates around his continuous effort to achieve intellectual honesty. His self-exploratory texts reflect his search of how to be fully oneself, without at the same time betraying one's values... --- "For Gide was very different from the picture most people had of him. He was the very reverse of an aesthete, and, as a writer, had nothing in common with the doctrine of art for art's sake. He was a man deeply involved in a specific struggle, a specific fight, who never wrote a line which he did not think was of service to the cause he had at heart." (Francois Mauriac)

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Pretty Good  Jun 29, 2007
I first heard about André Gide, I believe, while reading one of Boyle's short story. It was some off handed reference but I found myself picking up Strait is the Gate and the book the proceeded to live on my shelf for quite some time before I read it. The plot is intriguing but somewhat generic: two sisters fall in love with the same man. Some interesting twists occur, the man is rejected by both women, and the book ends developing both of the sister's positions in the relationship (otherwise the book is narrated by the man). However, the book increasingly became annoying as the relationships floundered for no apparent reason. Even by the end of the novel once reasons of sacrifice and a hire calling are pursued one still stops and wonders: say what? Strait is the Gate is filled with a misogynistic tendency of consistent and regular female sacrifice for the higher calling of a man. It's interesting in its fashion and a short read but the constant referencing of the childlike love is very true - it's a very immature and over romanticized love that blossoms.
a strange emptiness  Jun 11, 2007
A reviewer said earlier that he became physically ill as he read on. I felt something similar. The story gripped me in my throat, and there were moments when I think I stopped breathing. The story of utmost purity and self-sacrifice (utter foolishness to cynics) cut so close that I think it tore my heart. The image painted at the end of the story was so sublime that the reader will find himself unable to utter a single word, and at the same time, a strange emptiness wells up within...
beautiful book  May 8, 2005
I read this book long long ago when I was 15 or so. It was one of the first real literary works I have ever read, and, at that age, the purity in human relationship which this story pursuits came through naturally for me (getting ideas about human relationship through this book was definitely better than through tabloids or crappy magazines or romance novels or Hollywood movies!). I have never cried or suffered over a relationship, and been happily married for 25 yrs now.

In the Afterward in the edition I have read, the translator explained that the story reflects Gide's own marriage, or the relationship with his wife. Gide loved his wife dearly, but they hardly had a sexual relationship, or something to that effect, and throughout their marriage, Gide was tormented.

To me, at age 15, the idea, the kind of love that Alissa was looking for -- "divine" and on a higher plane, spiritual than physical, intangible than tangible, and eternal and true -- was quite attractive. It may look unhealthy, but you don't read a story and take it literally. It is a story of Gide's thoughts and ideals, not the story of literal facts. You don't really live your ideal, but to keep that ideal in your mind while you live your daily life is a great way to live.
This book's ideal doesn't go with today's trend or culture, and it is hard to understand. But I think Gide's endeaver was well worth it. It's a very good book to read, especially for young people. It will take you to a -- if not a higher plane, a different realm, and you will see love and relationship from a totally different angle.
Yawnworthy stuff; not really worth reading...  Nov 22, 2004
André Gide - `Strait is the Gate' (1909) (translation to English)

A rather boring book about a love triangle (Jerome, Alissa, and God). God wins in the end, being a bit more powerful than the other two.

Too much chit-chat and social stuff; too much (now outdated) religious material; too little real action.

Unsatisfying plot. Unsatisfying book.

Overall: 1 out of 5 only.
Sensitive Soul Selects Self-Sacrifice  Nov 11, 2004
You can bet that old Omar Khayyam loved a few women in his day and when he got out there under the spreading bough with his loaf of bread, a book of verse, and a jug of wine, he did not fail to eat, drink, recite, and all the rest. That's what I think life is about. Dreams are central, but if you have a chance to realize your dream, and you don't because you think you'll be happier if you don't, then your dreams are just so much junk and you are kidding yourself. Self-denial may be good for your health, but not for your soul.

Andre Gide wrote this novel back before World War I, when extreme sensibility had not been crushed by the horrors of modern war; a time when the words `holocaust' or `genocide' had not been much heard. I am not claiming that this is a bad novel---no, on the contrary---it is a very complex and finely-crafted piece of literature. However, I found it impossible to like. Jerome and Alissa, two extremely sensitive and religious young people in Normandy, fall in love early in life, but spend the rest of the novel avoiding each other, sacrificing themselves for `purity', turning to God instead of to each other, embarassed by their own passion, and other vain exercises in psychological self-mutilation. The twists and turns that Gide manages to write into this short, but extremely complex novel are breathtakingly clever and believable, but the whole effect was to make me feel somewhat nauseous and exceedingly disturbed. Alissa writes to her lover who thinks only of her, "No, don't cut short your journey for the sake of a few days' meeting. Seriously, it is better that we should not see each other again just yet. Believe me, I could not think of you more if you were with me. I should be sorry to give you pain, but I have come to the point of no longer wanting your presence---now. Shall I confess ? If I knew you were coming this evening I should fly away." And so it goes, desire, rejection, reunion, the heights of platonic passion, and again separation. A second love story underlines the first to give it the traceries of poignancy. Some years ago in Australia, there was a campaign to get people away from their television sets, out to do some healthier activity. The slogan then was "Life ! Be in it !" This couple's slogan is definitely, "Life ! Be out of it !"

If you have read Kafka's "The Castle" and enjoyed it, then this book is definitely for you. If you ever thrilled to Ring Lardner's "The Ecstasy of Owen Muir" or Kawabata Yasunari's "House of Sleeping Beauties", then I suppose you will be drawn to STRAIT IS THE GATE. I am not an expert on Gide by any means, but it may be that he wanted to write several books showing the complex depths of various human emotions. It's five star writing, but in the opinion of this reviewer, it is a twisted book that will not give you much pleasure.


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