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Additional resources for André Malraux : towards the expression of transcendence
The final rejection is both lucid and mutual. It is this erotic encounter which is contextualized by the potentiality of the two identical skeletons intertwined on the Tibetan wallhanging over Ferral's bed. Devoid of detail and devoid of flesh, they serve to bestow on the carnal coupling about to take place below a symbolic quality that is both impersonal and de-sexualized. Eroticism, for Malraux, is in all ways, and always, an ultimately negative and unfulfilling experience. But should we go further in our conclusions?
Second, the trance-like condition ("en transe") of the two skeletons alluded to by Malraux11 not only reinvokes the state of deep meditation already discovered in the legendary sources from which the Citipati emerge, it also reaffirms that alienation of lucidity so often characteristic of both erotic activity and dance, where rhythmic physical patterns "transport" the practicant. However, among the detail Malraux has furnished, there is no doubt that it is the total similarity of the two skeletons ("exactement semblables") which is most conducive to fruitful reflection.
Moreover, free indirect style preserves those affective elements which are sacrificed in normal reported speech, as well as the questions and exclamations which are also part of the essential subjective texture of any utterance or thought. Of course the attraction of such a technique for an author whose avowed aesthetic goals privilege the presence and participation of the 28 Andr£ Malraux reader is evident. Nor is there any doubt that free indirect style and its more blatant companion, monologue interieur, were part of the literary climate which prevailed during Malraux's formative years in Paris; Joyce, Valery Larbaud, Gide, and a host of others bear unequivocal witness to this.