Book Source: Digital Library of India Item : Gide, ioned. Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men. André Gide published Fruits of the Earth (Les Nourritures Terrestres) in. Andre Gide – The Fruits of the Earth – Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online.

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Fruits Of The Earth : Gide, Andre : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

Charting his growing sense of liberation from the constriction of Parisian life, it is a hymn to autonomy, escaping the rigidity of rules imposed by others and adhering to a philosophy of self-determination.

Influenced by Nietzsche, the narrator exhorts the reader to do away with convention, lead a nomadic existence in search of understanding, learn about the world and oneself, enjoy simplicity, look around with fresh eyes, and escape the decadence of civilisation. He also throws off the Church with its restrictiveness, which is fine gied one can find God within. This is a way of living guided by intuition, not external authority.

No guru is required as it is democratic; anybody can do what he has done, if they have the will.

The result is a balance of asceticism and hedonism. The focus is on self-improvement, not standing still, living in the moment.

It is a celebration of gde, certainly, but it is not an easy path, and courage is required as ties are to be avoided. One will feel the pull of domestic comfort, and feel envious, but independence is more authentic for the effort.


At its core is seeking the spiritual in oneself and in nature.

Fruits Of The Earth

As that summary suggests, it is all fairly anodyne, with the exception of the enthusiasm for young Arab boys, who the narrator concedes may have been too young. Such expressions would doubtless get the perpetrator into trouble these days, and those of a censorious nature may feel it is not appropriate to read Gide in future. For those who wish to continue, Fruits of the Earth is an existentialist tract and a precursor of hippiedom, though the narrator does have a comfortable home in Paris to come back to on his peregrinations despite all the talk of freedom from possessions.

Post-New Age, the sermonising feels banal. Experience is key — the philosophy prioritises emotion above intellect, and words cannot do it justice, so it is important to live that experience for oneself. Finally the narrator exhorts his friend Nathaniel, to whom the extended lecture is addressed, to throw away the book because it too represents authority.

But should Gide have written it? The narrator can feel like a pub bore if the reader is not in tune with the sentiments, pontificating self-indulgently. A preface to a new edition in tries to roll back on the suggestion of self-centredness.


He argues for fidelity to it in his life, which actually seems paradoxical. Why force me to repeat it? True, but the fact he had to stress this so vehemently suggests that rather a lot of readers had not got the message the first time round. The narrator dismisses Nathaniel at the end of Fruits of the Earth on the grounds that he is in the way, and there is no sense in the book of caring for everybody more than himself; in fact the fondness for young boys suggests the opposite.


With his romantic approach to its tenets and political naivety it is hard to imagine him sitting in a CP branch meeting discussing the latest directive from Moscow. The entire thrust of both books is the emphasis on individualism and self-determination rather than collectivism and adherence to the class struggle.

Fruits of the Earth, by André Gide | The Joy of Mere Words

There is regret at having resisted temptations, thereby turning aside from life, which has a Wildean tone. One oddity occurs in this second instalment. Assuming an accurate translation, what did these blameless microscopic creatures ever do to Gide to warrant such dislike?

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