Modern French Literature Criticism: Resistance Literature - Essay

Ian Higgins (essay date 1982)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Higgins, Ian. Introduction to Anthology of Second World War French Poetry, pp. 1-51. London: Methuen, 1982.

[In the following excerpt from the introduction to Anthology of Second World War French Poetry, Higgins provides a critical analysis of French war poetry.]


A remarkable literary feature of the war was the sudden popularity of poetry. Many looked to it, both as readers and as writers, for a crystallization of their suffering and grief. The same was true, though less spectacularly, in Britain. But poetry also had practical advantages for résistants wanting maximum impact in clandestine publications. For...

(The entire section is 8591 words.)

Margaret Atack (essay date 1989)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Atack, Margaret. “Structures of Irony.” In Literature and the French Resistance: Cultural Politics and Narrative Forms, 1940-1950, pp. 208-31. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1989.

[In the following essay, Atack examines postwar French literature.]


In L'Univers concentrationnaire (The Concentration Camp World), David Rousset places the concentration camps under the patronage of the modern masters of the grotesque, Jarry's Ubu, Kafka and Céline,2 to present the incongruous juxtaposition of terror and bureaucratic order; but the discovery of the grotesque absurdity...

(The entire section is 9264 words.)