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Additional info for André Malraux : towards the expression of transcendence
In fact it would not be too reckless a simplification to suggest that, in this novel, free indirect style is the most significant single technique on which Malraux relies to communicate the distinctness of the various elements in his tentative vision of mankind, those several psychologies which collectively justify the scope of the title itself. Malraux's endorsement of free indirect style as a means by which to associate more closely reader and character continues in Le Temps du mepris. There, far from any fragmentation, however, for large parts of the narrative we are enclosed solely within the cranial cavity of the hero Kassner.
4 Although clearly we are not dealing here with the raw matter of the mental process - free indirect style gives only relative complicity through the imperfect or conditional tenses - there is, as we have already observed, a very marked reduction in the traditional distance between reader and fictional event. 29 On Free Indirect Style Elsewhere, it is frequently Gisors, the intellectual centre of the work, who explains to himself, and to us, the psychology of those who gravitate around him. On this occasion it is Tchen who is evoked: Gisors ...
None the less, in that volume certain contours are beginning to emerge. The erotic is serious, as suggested during Claude's account of a recent visit to a Somali brothel: "La patronne avait pouss£ vers Perken une fille toute jeune, qui souriait. Non, dit-il; 1'autre la-bas. "6 The erotic is also depersonalized in its nature, self-fulfilling in its intent: "L'essentiel est de ne pas connaitre la partenaire. "8 But these and other fragments, although prophetic, remain subordinate in a novel dominated by the broader theme of Perken's mythomanic desire to realize all the fabrications of his imagination.