In this wide-ranging study of French intellectuals who represented the Spanish Civil War as it was happening and in its immediate aftermath, Martin Hurcombe explores the ways in which these individuals addressed national anxieties and shaped the French political landscape. Bringing together reportage, essays, and fiction by French supporters of Franco's Nationalists and of the Spanish Republic, Hurcombe shows the multifaceted ways in which that conflict impacted upon French political culture. He argues that French cultural representations of the war often articulated a utopian image of the Nationalists or of the Spanish Republic that served as models behind which the radical right or the radical left in France might mobilise. His book will be of interest not only to scholars of French literature and culture but also to those interested in how events unfolding in Spain found an echo in the political landscapes of other countries.
Contents: Introduction: importing the Spanish Civil War; Touring the Spanish labyrinth: the Far Right in Nationalist Spain; The art of war: the novels of Frondaie and Maulvault; The birth of international Fascism: from Brasillach to Drieu la Rochelle; From Republican solidarity towards the totalitarian Republic: the French left and the Spanish Republic; Fellow-travelling to Spain: Malraux, L'Espoir and the Civil War; Beyond the Spanish Republic: journey's end and new departures; Lessons in the darkness: Bernanos's Les Grands Cimetières sous la lune and Pollès's Toute guerre se fait la nuit; Epilogue: decisions in the dark: Sartre's 'Le Mur'; Bibliography; Index.
About the Author: Martin Hurcombe is Senior Lecturer in French at the University of Bristol, UK and author of Novelists in Conflict: Ideology and the Absurd in the French Combat Novel of the Great War and co-editor of Sébastien Japrisot: The Art of Crime.
Reviews: 'Hurcombe analyzes texts from far-right, clearly pro-Nationalist writers, as well as from left-wing authors whose allegiance fell unambiguously on the Republican side, and, in a very interesting final chapter, from authors on both sides whose ideas found themselves challenged by what they observed. As a result, the whole book provides an illuminating portrait of the various political factions and tensions that animated France in those years and beyond.'David Caron, University of Michigan, USA'… of interest to anyone studying Spanish exiled writers in France (such as playwright Fernando Arrabal) and wanting to gain a thorough background knowledge of the historical shifts inflecting and shaping such writers’ oeuvres. [This book] surely have a long-lasting influence on the fields of war studies and Spanish Civil War studies…' French Studies'… this magnificent study makes a valuable contribution to the non-canonical works about the Spanish Civil War. Its richness lies in Hurcombe’s approach to studying the Civil War as an international phenomenon through the lens of a foreign outsider.' Hispania
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