Books: Gide's Goodbye

SO BE IT OR THE CHIPS ARE DOWN (165 pp.)—André Gide—Knopf ($3.50).

It is easy to leave the world, Santayana wrote, once we know what it is. If Santayana was suggesting a satiety of the mind, André Gide, in his 81st year, was more keenly aware of a flagging of the senses. He had discovered a word from the Greek for it, anorexia (lack of appetite), but he added: "I find it hard to console myself for not knowing Greek."

It is one of the few regrets in So Be It, his gentle goodbye to life....

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