The Immoralist Criticism

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The first printing of The Immoralist in 1902 consisted of 300 copies, of which the majority were circulated among Gide's friends and his intellectual circle. While it caused a small scandal among this limited readership, subsequent editions of the novel brought Gide increasing controversy. Many critics regarded Michel's narrative as a celebration of behavior which society in general deemed immoral. These early reviewers regarded Michel's behavior in terms of selfish "individualism," thus avoiding all reference to homosexuality. Nonetheless, Gide was widely criticized for endorsing Michel's behavior, rather than condemning it. Gide, however, defended his narrative in a "Preface" to later editions of the novel, asserting that, as an artist, his intent was not to judge his character, but to represent a set of experiences common to many men. In the latter half of the twentieth century, as homosexuality became a more acceptable subject of public discussion, critics came to view...

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This section contains 535 words
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