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More Writers of the Spanish Civil War

Experience Put to Use

Series:

Edited By Celia M. Wallhead

Further to the first book, Writers of the Spanish Civil War: The Testimony of Their Auto/Biographies (2011), which featured the writings on the war (1936–39) of six key British and American authors: Gerald Brenan, Robert Graves, Ernest Hemingway, George Orwell, Stephen Spender and Laurie Lee, this new work studies the actions in the war of those physically involved and writings focused on the war, either at the time or later, by eight more foreign authors: Virginia Woolf, John Dos Passos, Franz Borkenau, V. S. Pritchett, André Malraux, Arthur Koestler, Martha Gellhorn and Peter Kemp. In addition to comparing their autobiographies with what their biographers said, in order to show up any discrepancies, as had been done in the first book, here, the texts are scrutinized to detect use of stereotypes or adaptation of the material to other purposes in the writing. New perspectives are introduced now in that two of the authors are women, one writing from a distance but deeply affected by the war (Virginia Woolf) and one active in journalism on the spot (Martha Gellhorn), and our final author, Peter Kemp, went to Spain to fight on the side of the Nationalists under Franco as opposed to the Republicans.

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Chapter 5. André Malraux 1901–1976 Unveiling the Man and the Myth (Ricardo Marín Ruiz)

Extract

← 190 | 191 →

RICARDO MARÍN RUIZ

Chapter 5. André Malraux 1901–1976Unveiling the Man and the Myth

Brief Biography

Wings for the Republic: Malraux’s participation in and portrayal of the Spanish Civil War

On the afternoon of July 18th 1936, André Malraux received the news that a military insurrection had taken place in Spain. Over the ensuing days, the French writer held several interviews with Pierre Cot, the Minister for Air, in order to persuade the French government to aid the Spanish Republic. During one of these encounters, Malraux informed Cot of his intention to fly to Madrid to clear up some contradictory reports which were being published in relation to what was happening in Spain. Cot agreed to Malraux’s request. On July 25th, accompanied by his wife Clara and the veteran pilot Édouard Corniglion-Molinier, André set out for Madrid on a trip fraught with setbacks. After having flown over the Pyrenees, the plane’s magnet stopped working. They drifted for several hours until they finally managed to spot a small town in the middle of the immense luminous plateau of Castile. The plane descended to get a ← 193 | 194 → more distinct view of that town, and it was only then that they discovered it was Ávila. At that moment, they resumed their position and headed for the Barajas aerodrome in Madrid. Julio Álvarez del Vayo, a Socialist writer who had attended the International Conference for the Defense of Culture in...

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