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Strait is the Gate (Penguin Modern Classics) [Paperback]

Andre Gide , Dorothy Bussy
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: £12.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

22 Feb 2001 Penguin Modern Classics

A delicate boy growing up in Paris, Jerome Palissier 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 interests 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 Gate is a novel of haunting beauty that stimulates the mind and the emotions.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; New Ed edition (22 Feb 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141185244
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141185248
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 12.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 214,503 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
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. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Virtue and Love 15 Mar 2006
By Paul D
As children, Jerome, the narrator, and his cousin Alissa, are often together, and Jerome feels that their lives will be bound up forever. He dedicates his life to God, to the twin ideals of virtue and love. As time goes on, it becomes clear that Alissa feels that Jerome will only achieve true virtue if she denies herself to him. Despite his protestations of eternal love, she continues to keep him at a distance.
In this short novel, Gide examines the role of virtue and true love in life. There are no easy answers, but the writing is fresh and direct, and the characters well-drawn in Gide’s best fashion.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This is a love story with a very unhappy ending which explores in great depth but with amazing clarity a relationship in which religious excess is the destructive force. The tensions set up in the tale are almost overwhelming and urge the reader on to find out what the final outcome of the story will be. This is one of my favourite novels which is emotionally draining and extremely satisfying at the same time. I have read the novel many times now and never fail to get some new interpretation or meaning on every read. This is a must-read novel!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Restrained classic 26 Aug 2009
By Sporus
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Gide's first novel - well, novella - written in his 40's relates the story of a child's infatuation that becomes the defining (and unfulfilled) love of his life. It is beautifully structured and full of resonances that should chime with anyone who's been speared by Cupid. It's telling that Dorothy Bussy's translation should still have such currency. It's over 80 years old and makes Gide - who used to be presented as a writer of radical sentiments - seem almost quaint. The 'existential' attack on religiosity now seems not only appropriate but understated; which makes the irony of the last page encounter seem more significant than it has been historically credited.
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