Les Nourritures: Envoi



This is a reading (in French) of one of my favorite passage of The Fruits of Earth (Les Nourritures Terrestres) from AndréGide.

Because I couldn’t find any satisfactory english translation, I ended up – with Scott’s help – translating it myself.


The Fruits of the Eart, André Gide, Sending.

And now, Nathaniel, do away with my book. Free yourself. Leave me. Leave me, now. You burden me; you hold me back. Our exaggerated love has taken over me.

I’m tired of pretending to educate someone. When did I say that I wanted you to be like me? It’s because you differ from me that I love you. I only love in you that which differs from me. To educate? – Who could I educate but myself? Nathaniel would you tell me? I have endlessly educated myself. I continue.

My only value is in my actions.

Nathanael, discard my book. Do not believe that your truth may be found by someone else; more than anything, be ashamed of the very idea. If I provided for your food, you wouldn’t be hungry for it. If I made your bed, you would not find sleep in it.
Do away with my book; understand that this is merely one of a thousand perspectives possible in front of life.

Seek yours.

That which someone else can do as well as you, don’t do it.

That which someone else would have said as well as you, don’t say it; write as well as you, don’t write it.

Form of yourself only that which can be found nowhere else, and create yourself – impatiently or patiently – oh! the most irreplaceable of beings.