22 NOVEMBER 1930, Page 60

THE IMMORALIST. By Andre Gide. Translated by Dorothy Missy . . (Knopf.

7s. Od.)—In this extraordinarily clever and moving story M. Andre Gide tells us, in his Preface, that he has not tried to prove anything " but only to paint my picture well and to set it in a good light." Assuredly he has succeeded in this respect, but The Immoralist, probably owing to the subject of the picture, is not quite satisfying. The story seems to be somehow incomplete. Michael is an intellectual young Frenchman who is ever conscious of " untouched treasures somewhere lying covered up, hidden, smothered, by culture and decency and morality." His first experience of this consciousness is the joy which he felt at watching an Arab steal his wife's scissors. M. Gide's prose is excellent in translation, and his descriptions of Michael's feelings and of his relations with his wife Marceline are extra- ordinarily real, but the author has left so much unsaid in this story that The Immoralist, makes disturbing reading. His method is suggestion rather than narrative. The Immoralist is, however, a book which one will not easily forget. •