Politics and Literature Europe - Essay


(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

Robert Cohen

SOURCE: "Some Political Implications of The Madwoman of Chaillot," in Contemporary Literature, Vol. 9, No. 2, Spring, 1968, pp. 2210-22.

[In the following essay, Cohen finds that, despite its "whimsical" surface, Hyppolyte-Jean Giraudoux's The Madwoman of Chaillot is an existential drama concerning the political nightmare of World War II.]

It may seem overly narrow to speak of The Madwoman of Chaillot as a political play concerning France in the Second World War. The play is full of fancy, a superbly whimsical collection of farce, fantasy, and flippancy which has achieved as great a popular success as any of...

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