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Andre Gide: The Pastoral Symphony

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The 1914-1917 period was really a kind of interlude in Gide's development. The real orientation of his work was to reappear with The Counterfeiters. The Pastoral Symphony (1919) was a throwback to the past, though it profited from the preparations for the unfinished Conversations with Nicodemus and used some of the thoughts Gide had elaborated for Numquid et tu . . . Even these two works had their origins in the prewar discussions raised by Strait Is the Gate. At that time, in connection with his projected Pastoral Symphony, then entitled The Blind Girl, Gide had noted:

I shall probably have to write a preface for my Blind Girl . . . .In it I should say: "If to be a Protestant is to be a Christian without being a Catholic, then I am a Protestant." But I cannot recognize any orthodoxy other than the Roman orthodoxy, and if Protestantism, whether Calvinist or Lutheran, tried to impose its orthodoxy upon me, I should immediately turn toward the Roman as the only one. "P…