After attending the Lycée Condorcet, Malraux studied oriental languages at the École des Langues Orientales, but left his studies without graduating. After working briefly for bookdealers and publishers, he went to Cambodia at the age of 21 with his wife, the writer Clara Goldsmidt. They hoped to rediscover the Khmer temples, but Malraux was arrested for taking bas-reliefs from a temple at Bantai Srey. After his three years' sentence was voided, Malraux edited an anti-colonialist newspaper in Saigon and returned briefly to France. In 1925 he went to Saigon to join the anti-colonial Young Annam League.|
According to some sources, Malraux worked in the 1920s for Guomindang in China, where he witnessed the 1927 revolution. However, this information has been open to doubt. Malraux first important book, LA TENTATION DE L'OCCIDENT (1926), explored the parallels between Eastern and Western culture. The work was set on the early stages of the Chinese revolution and focused on the exchange of letters between a young European and a young Asian intellectual. Its was followed by an adventure story, LA VOIE ROYALE (1930), set in the Indochinese jungle. The book was largely a dialogue on death; it was one Malraux's main themes. "The mystery of life appears to each one of us as it appears to almost every woman when she looks into a child's face and to almost every man when he looks into the face of someone dead", Malraux once said. LES CONQUÉRANTS (1928) dealt with a revolutionary strike and its European organizers in Canton. Malraux continued on revolutionary themes in La Condition humaine and L'ESPOIR (1937). Although he was aware of Stalin's crimes, he praised the Soviet system. For a short time, he was interested in the figure of Trotsky, who later said that "Malraux is organically incapable of moral independence".
Photo by Gisele Freund, the great German photographer who died in late March, 2001 at the age of 91.
"PARIS, March 31 -- Gisele Freund, the German-born photographer who was best known for her portraits of France's literary elite and was a founding member of Magnum Photo Agency, died today in Paris. She was 91.
Ms. Freund was one of Europe's most prominent photographers and a pillar among French feminist intellectuals after fleeing Nazi Germany and settling in Paris in the 1930's.
In the course of her long career, she went on about 80 photographic assignments around the world, mainly for Time and Life. But she is most noted for being in a lot of places with a lot of famous people.
She captured a windblown Andre Malraux on a Paris rooftop, Boris Pasternak, Aldous Huxley and Andre Gide at a congress for the defense of culture; Walter Benjamin sitting on a bench in the Bibliotheque Nationale; Vladimir Nabokov, Michel Leiris, Henri Michaux and Jean Paulhan in the editorial offices of the magazine Mesures and James Joyce playing the piano for his son, Giorgio." by Suzanne Daley, NY Times