Context: Finished this in a day on my bed at my mum’s place in Portugal.
This started off as an unassuming romance novella but, before long, I realised that I was involved in an exploration of issues much deeper and very relevant to the contemporary world.
Gide has constructed a brief novel that justifies long moments of thought. Without giving the game away, the question the novel explores is whether love of God takes precedence over earthly loves.
This is important today, I feel, because issues of faith and what is done in the name of it have a direct impact on our lives now.
There is a tragic element to Strait is the Gate because neither of the main characters manage to solve the question satisfactorily either for their love or for themselves.
The novel has a sublime ending that is full of pathos. It is the kind of ending that explains the opening and makes me wonder which was written first.
Some people might have made a book of it but the story I am going to tell is one which took all my strength to live and over which I spent all my virtue.
When I tried to re-read one of the great authors…I felt like the man in the scriptures, who strives to add a cubit to his height.
A servant came in, bringing the lamp.
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