Back to Spain: Commitment in Crisis in Four French Novels of the Spanish Civil War (1958-1962)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

Abstract

This chapter explores the death of political idealism portrayed in the memory of the Spanish Republic that forms the subject of four minor, yet popular novels published in teh course of the Algerian War of Independence. These are: Michel del Castillo’s 'Le colleur d’affiches', Christian Murciaux’s 'Notre-Dame des désemparés', Joseph Peyré’s 'Le pont des sorts', and Jean-Pierre Simon’s 'Terre de violenc. It examines how characters respond to this crisis of commitment and attempt to move beyond this in order to posit an alternative form of humanist commitment. It also considers how the memory of the Spanish Civil War in these novels reflects the dilemma facing French liberal intellectuals during this period, torn between the pursuit of political justice for all and their opposition to the use of violence to attain this end. Throughout it uses one of the best known attacks on the praxis-based politics of the far left of the period, Albert Camus’s 'L’Homme révolté', as a critical point of reference, and more particularly Camus’s concept of the 'pensée de Midi', adumbrated in the essay’s conclusion.
Translated title of the contributionBack to Spain: Commitment in Crisis in Four French Novels of the Spanish Civil War (1958-1962)
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAlienation and Alterity. Otherness in Modern and Contemporary Francophone Contexts
EditorsHelen Vassallo, Paul Cooke
PublisherPeter Lang International Academic Publishers
Pages117 - 136
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9783039115471
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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