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Monserrat, Delphine (2017) QUE RESTE-T-IL DE L’ANARCHIE? IDÉES ET IDÉAUX ANARCHISTES DANS LA LITTERATURE D’APRÈS-GUERRES. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This dissertation examines the ways in which anarchist ideas and ideals influenced mainstream Interwar and postwar French literature. Most scholarship on anarchy in France argues that it disappeared after World War I as Communism became the dominant political ideology of the radical left. My dissertation shows that anarchism did not disappear, but rather reinvented itself in literature before starting to reemerge in May 68 and even more since the 2000s.
Anarchy is a social doctrine that promotes the freedom of the individual while remaining aware and respectful of the freedom and individuality of others. However, many have associated and still do associate anarchism with violent and chaos because its history includes periods of terrorism, especially at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, This dissertation examines how the history of the movement and its ideas along with portrayals by the government and the media created ideas and images and shaped public memories about anarchy. Through the study of novels and plays from the 1920s through the late 1940s, by Louis Aragon, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Blaise Cendrars, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, André Malraux and Jean-Paul Sartre, I show that the discourse of anarchy and about anarchy is an important component of mainstream – i.e. non-militant – literature. My project explores three main ideas in relationship to anarchy: terrorism, female characters and images of the body.
This dissertation shows that to fully understand literature in Interwar and postwar France, it is necessary to take anarchy into account in order to have a complete picture of the political and social beliefs of the time and of the atmosphere in which the texts were written. The different authors do use stereotypes on anarchy, sometimes as an excuse to create shocking images and interesting characters, but they also go beyond those stereotypes and show that anarchist ideas and ideals can be useful and productive, without necessarily subscribing to anarchy itself. Thus, they paradoxically preserve and pass on through literature a doctrine that they do not always view positively.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Monserrat, Delphinedrm74@pitt.edudrm74
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairPettersen,
Committee MemberMecchia,
Committee MemberHogg,
Committee MemberAndrade,
Date: 28 September 2017
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 4 May 2017
Approval Date: 28 September 2017
Submission Date: 14 June 2017
Access Restriction: 3 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 3 years.
Number of Pages: 276
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > French
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: anarchie, anarchy, terrorisme, terrorism, anarchisme, anarchism
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2017 21:46
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2020 05:15


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