By David Bevan
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Additional info for André Malraux : towards the expression of transcendence
Pour aider les gens a ne plus ob£ir aux esprits, £ devenir independents. Des outils. 34 40 Andr£ Malraux The mask, too, a last metonymical avatar of the monstrous, "appartientau sacreY'35 It may be appropriate, in conclusion, to sum up the evolution I perceive in the value Malraux attaches, at different points in his writings, to those curious twins - the butterfly and the monster which have provided the loose structure for this investigation of the farfelu. The basic shift is from the primacy of death, couched in contexts that are first playful and then agonized, to the primacy of an always tentatively interrogative transcendence: 'Taleatoire de 1'homme pr£caire"36 - to invoke Malraux's very last and vital text.
There is no doubt that it is the anguished frustration which that experience generates in Ferral that causes him to seek relief in still another body. And yet the irony is clear: for Ferral' s inability to attain any supreme fulfilment or real self-affirmation in his relationship with Valerie is not a function of their particular characters or idiosyncrasies, but rather a testimony to the inadequacy of all erotic experience to provide any Absolute. Ferral is thus doomed inevitably to rediscover in each fleeting fleshly gratification, including his latest Chinese courtesan, the same desperate void.
Why are they embracing? What is the importance of their identical forms? What is the impact of the trance they are experiencing? What does the background mean? What relationship do they have to the encounter about to take place below? These are just some of the questions which must surely be considered if we are to enter fully into Malraux's vision of man. A suitable departure point in seeking some tentative answers would be to note that, in the Lamaist pantheon, intertwined skeletons are usually associated with Yama, the Buddhist Pluto or God of Death;4 indeed, some scholars maintain that in many instances they are actually emanations of Yama himself.
André Malraux : towards the expression of transcendence by David Bevan