France Literature Part I

By | February 6, 2022

Several of the most prominent personalities of writers in the interwar period or already at the beginning of the century have disappeared or remained inactive in the last decade. Those who disappeared include Gide (1951), Alain (1951), J. Baruzi (1953), H. Bernstein (1953), P. Éluard (1952), Ch. Maurras (1952), J. Benda (1956), Céline (1958), Br. Carco (1958), Valéry-Larbaud (1957), R. Martin du Gard (1958). The industriousness of other elderly people is instead continuous even if rather than bringing real innovations, it constitutes the reaffirmation and sometimes the deepening of already evident reasons.

To the various dozen of his works G. Duhamel has added other novels: La pesée des âmes (1951), Cri des profondeurs (1951), Le complexe de Théophile (1958) and the five volumes of memories, Lumières sur ma vie. J. Romains is no exception with Violation des frontières (1951), Le fils de Jerphanion (1956), Une femme singulière (1957) and with a collection of poems, Maisons (1957). To P. Morand we owe Le flagellant de Séville (1951, rom.) And the books of short stories: La folle amoureuse (1956) and Fin de siècle (1957); to B. Cendrars (died January 21, 1961) the prose of Emmène – moi au bout du monde (1955) and Tropc’est trop (1957). J. Chardonne, opposed after the war for political reasons and then almost forgotten, published Vivre à Madère (1952, rom.), The Lettres à Roger Nimier (1952) and the essays by Matinales (1956) while his complete works are being printed in 7 volumes. Very active, even as a political journalist, Br. Mauriac validly continued his tragic analysis of man in the Journal, in the Bloc notes (1958), in the essays of La pierre d’achoppement (1948), flanked by the short psychological novels Le Sagouin (1951), Galigaï (1952), L’agneau (1954) and the plays Passage du Malin (1948), Le feu sur la terre (1951), Le pain vivant (1955)). According to, these years were no less intense for the disenchanted Montherlant who gave Pasiphaé to the theater (1949), Celles qu’on prese dans ses bras (1950), La ville dont le Prince est un enfant(1951), Port-Royal (1954), Brocéliande (1956), Don Juan (1958); to fiction La rose de saber (1954) and Les Auligny (1956), to poetry the Encore un instant de bonheur collection (1954) and to the memoir the Textes sous une occupation (1953), and the Carnets (1957). The tratral production of A. Salacrou has been enriched with numerous plays and comedies: Le soldat et la sorcièreUne femme trop honnête (1955), Le miroir (1957), Dieu le savait. A. Malraux, on the other hand, seems to neglect the narrative to devote himself to the critical and theoretical problems of art. Psychologie de dell’arte (1949), Les voix du silence (1951), Le musée imaginaire de la sculpture mondo (1952-54), La métamorphose des Dieux (1957) are very beautiful books for the efficacy of the descriptions and the vivacity of the approach, however aestheticizing, to the figurative works. Sartre and Camus alternated essays with creative works; the first with his fervent ideological participation in world political events from the Entretiens (1949) to the book on the Hungarian revolt (1956-57), to the controversies that followed, to the Questions de méthode (1957), in which he is increasingly looking for the juxtaposition of his existentialism with Marxism as well as with the enormous apologetic harangue Saint – Genêt comédien et martyr (1952), where his critical principles are pushed to the extreme and with the “pièces” Le diable et le bon Dieu (1951) , Kean (1954) Dumasian, Nekrassov(1955), Les séquestrés d’Altona (1959); A. Camus (d. 1960) highlighting his conception of life and literature even better in the most recent essays by Actuelles, in L’homme révolté (1951), in the Réflexions sur la peine capital (1957); no less important are the creative works: the prose art of L’eté (1954), the stories of L’exil et le royaume (1957), the confessions of a contemporary (La chute, 1956); the plays Les Justes (1949) and Requiem pour une nonne (1956), a dramatic adaptation by Faulkner.

Even apart from the figures whose importance is now sanctioned by the achieved international fame and by the establishment of a broad critical discussion against them, today’s literature usually appears to be characterized by an ideological commitment in the broadest sense. It therefore tends, more or less consciously, to the condition of the wise; and to this condition is approached the narrative and above all the novel, still dominant “genre”, although now far from its traditional form and subjected to contrary innovative solicitations. Catholics and Communists in various shades confirm their prevalence; “experimental” avant-garde loses its effectiveness to the extent that the awareness of its gratuitousness and, often, of its futility, is becoming increasingly clear. The existentialism itself now gives way to an unscrupulous and disinterested analytical observation which, by abolishing naturalistic objectivism, wants to be based only on the admission of the plurality of the possible and of relativity, of the anguish of the individual point of view, but of these same limits and difficulty in representing the events makes a weapon using them as the only means allowed to man to concretely penetrate his own and others’ behavior.

France Literature 01