S.D. Johnson's Reviews > La symphonie pastorale

La symphonie pastorale by André Gide
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's review
Jul 05, 2011

it was amazing
Read from June 28 to July 05, 2011

Called to the bedside of a dying widow, a pastor generously takes in the woman's orphaned niece who is blind, & initially thought to also possibly be deaf and dumb. (This theme of course reminded me of Francois Truffaut's film *L'Enfant Sauvage*...) The pastor introduces the girl to the outside world, slowly teaching her how to speak and read. Eventually a romantic obsession develops between the two of them. The theme of blindness works so powerfully here, & I was reminded of other works where it is also used so powerfully - in Samuel Beckett's *Endgame* for example, Sophocles' *Oedipus* trilogy, or Jose Saramago's *Blindness*. It is an excellent metaphor & here is woven into a gripping & masterful bit of storytelling. It is at once an exegetical commentary & criticism of "Christian" society and hypocrisy,& rather a metaphor of epistemological limits - the difference between what is perceived & the truth... that great, tragic abyss which often exists between our desires and reality.

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