CXX - The Life of George Sand, by Joseph Barry, comments by André Bandeira
Joseph Barry arrived in Paris, in 1945, with the american troops and never left. He fell in love with a woman, who was a man, who was credited to be an «homosexual», and who was dead for a long time, when he arrived, despite Victor Hugo phrasing at her burial that « she died, and she became immortal». What strikes me most in this biography, that is its honesty. The author gets carried away by the impetus of George Sand, but he doesn't pretend to make a romantic biography in the style of George Sand, Aurore Dupin. He just admires the character -- probably he shoulders the crush that Georg Sand has imprinted in his foreign invader's heart -- and then, he describes the case the best he can. The result is a very good one, which, I would say, seems to be enough for having an updated knowledge of her, beyond the snapshots of the modern totalitarian media. Who was George Sand, after all, in this biographer's perspective? George Sand appears to be an unpleasant typhoon of selfishness till the very end, when the time comes for her to disclose her soul. She dies, probably with stomach cancer, in terrible pain, counting one by one, her grand-children, after spending her final days, playing and tutoring each of them as a very classical grandmother would do, and rushing away from the time she lost being other things. But it is not only George Sand who died with cancer. The whole France, which shooted down 25.000 Paris communards, against the «Wall of the Federated», in Père Lachaise's cemetery, died with cancer, too. How could George Sand not sympathize with the miserable being killed by the different revolution crushers, in the streets of Paris? She was a descendent of Maurice of Saxe, a privileged woman in education and wealth, despite all the miseries in her personal conduct. She had no paradise on earth, but she could see outcasts who didn't even have the right to be in hell. How could she see otherwise? She saved four republican soldiers of being shot, after intervening by the side of Louis Napoléon. She saved other people, everyone who asked for her help, in face of imminent death. As an aristocrat she could indulge in the luxury of choosing the position of libertarian socialism, to be extracted gradually from democracy, as a picknick party among young lords, in Spring. She could imagine whatever, and figure it out as a political position. She even could write about it and stop the show, distracting, for moments, the real Destiny brokers, and even rescue fron their claws, a few miserable ones. But she couldn't be one of them. So, what to do, when one cannot fill a never plenishable hole? Maybe compensate on the opposite side, the brute forces which loom on one side. Jesus didn't come for the virtuous. He came for the sinners. And this sinner, George Sand, was saved since the beginning of Times.