His reasons, however, for choosing Zarathustra of all others to be his mouthpiece, he gives us in the following words:-- "People have never asked me, as they should have done, what the name Zarathustra precisely means in my mouth, in the mouth of the first Immoralist
; for what distinguishes that philosopher from all others in the past is the very fact that he was exactly the reverse of an immoralist
Those who like may peep down under waves that are pretty transparent and see it writhing and twirling, diabolically hideous and slimy, flapping amongst bones, or curling round corpses; but above the waterline, I ask, has not everything been proper, agreeable, and decorous, and has any the most squeamish immoralist
in Vanity Fair a right to cry fie?
Gide and Justice: The Immoralist
in the Palace of Reason.
Modernist protagonists could be artists (Stephen Dedalus, with his symbolic name, in Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, 1916); sexual rebels (in Gide's The Immoralist
, 1902); or war survivors (the impotent Jake Barnes in Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, 1926).
Ethically, Keynes was an immoralist
, and even stated:
In Andre Gide's novel, The Immoralist
, the story's protagonist, Michel, refers to an "absurd, shameful, and scandalous lawsuit [which] had given the newspapers a convenient opportunity to tarnish his name" ("un absurde, un honteux proces a scandale [qui] avait ete pour les journaux une commode occasion de le salir.
To make good on these claims--at least in outline--I want first to make some very general remarks on conceptualization, relating some of those remarks to the conceptualization of happiness, and then to offer some reasons why, if our interest is in human happiness, we are likely to connect it very closely with living virtuously and why, therefore, Fred the Immoralist
does not really provide a good counterexample to classical claims to link happiness with virtue.
He adopts a different view when criticizing me for being too concerned to refute Strauss's interpretation of Machiavelli as an immoralist
It is no coincidence, therefore, that the progenitor of today's "Magi," British economist John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946), once declared, "I remain, and always will remain, an immoralist
Defiance of moral law is a frequent gesture of the modern novel; Andre Gide's novel The Immoralist
is just one of its extreme expressions.
In contrast to earlier works like Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890) or Gide's The Immoralist
(1902), the gay content in Wings isn't just hinted at or implied (Gore Vidal's The City and the Pillar is explicit, but wasn't published until 1948).
4 Neither can he be likened to Michel, the immoralist
hero in Gide's novel also titled Limmoraliste (The Immoralist
), who was said to live by his own rules as opposed to the norms of the new social environment.