November 24, 1976, Forty Years Ago: Malraux dead

Malraux, a giant literary figure in France and in much of the world, died only weeks before publication of a new book entitled, The Fragile Man in Literature.

By: Editorial | Published:November 23, 2016 11:43 pm
A look at the Express front page, forty years ago A look at the Express front page, forty years ago

Andre Malraux, the French writer and statesman, died in a Paris hospital. He was 75. Malraux, a giant literary figure in France and in much of the world, died only weeks before publication of a new book entitled, The Fragile Man in Literature. The slender, dark-haired Malraux served as General Charles de Gaulle’s intellectual mentor for a quarter century and as his culture minister for 11 years. Gaulle was fascinated by the mixture of intellect and daring he found in Malraux, who believed a writer must match his words with physical action, however dangerous. Malraux sided with communist revolutionaries in China in the 1920s, flew as a machine gunner against Franco forces in the Spanish civil war, was condemned to death by Hitler’s Germany for his part in France’s World War II resistance, escaped, and joined General de Gaulle’s free French forces in active combat against Germans. When de Gaulle’s successor, President Georges Pompidou, asked Malraux why he risked death so often, he replied: “If a man is not willing to risk his life, where is his dignity?”

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