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Features

April 2000

Martin du Gard's monster in a box

by Ben Downing

A consideration of the author and his unfinished novel Lieutenant-Colonel de Maumort.

On New Year’s Day 1931, the novelist Roger Martin du Gard (1881–1958) and his wife were seriously injured in a car crash, and they spent the next few months recuperating in a Le Mans hospital. That Martin du Gard had recently finished a solid first draft of the seventh installment of The Thibaults, the roman-fleuve he’d been trickling out since 1922, should, one would think, have been a source of some comfort to him during his long convalescence. But no: mulling in bed over his project, he came to the conclusions that this latest stretch of it simply would not do and that, to forfend against dithering, he had better torch the whole thing then and there. The replacement volume, Summer 1914, took another five years to complete, but Martin du Gard must have felt vindicated in his sacrifice when, the year after publication, it was singled out by the Swedish Academy in bestowing on him the Nobel Prize for 1937.

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Ben Downing's Queen Bee of Tuscany: The Redoubtable Janet Ross was published last year by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.


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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 18 April 2000, on page 27

Copyright © 2014 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.com

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October 24 2014

Young friends event: Bushwick Beat Nite


November 04 2014

Friends and Young Friends Event: Election Night Party


November 12 2014

Friends and Young Friends Event: Book Launch Party with Andrew Roberts

Webcasts

The Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity
On May 5, 2014, The New Criterion and PJ Media presented the second Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity. The award is given to highlight egregious examples of dishonest reporting. Also awarded this year was the Rather, a new award for lifetime achievement in mendacious journalism.
The Duranty Prize is named after Walter Duranty, the New York Times Moscow corresponded in the 1920s and 1930s who whitewashed Joseph Stalin’s forced starvation of the Ukrainians (the Holodomor) and many other aspects of Soviet oppression. Duranty was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for his efforts. It has never been revoked.
Audio copyright Ed Driscoll, www.eddriscoll.com.


Introduction to The Kennedy Phenomenon
Roger Kimball introduces The Kennedy Phenomenon, a conference presented by The New Criterion on Tuesday, November 19.


The Kennedy Phenomenon: "Watching the Kennedy Train-Wreck"
Roger Kimball reads Peter Collier’s paper on oft-overlooked unsavory details of the Kennedys' lives. Much of the paper is drawn from Collier’s book, coauthored with David Horowitz, The Kennedys: An American Drama.