The French Writers' War, 1940-1953, is a remarkably thorough account of French writers and literary institutions from the beginning of the German Occupation through France's passage of amnesty laws in the early 1950s. To understand how the Occupation affected French literary production as a whole, Gisele Sapiro uses Pierre Bourdieu's notion of the "literary field." Sapiro surveyed the career trajectories and literary and political positions of 185 writers. She found that writers' stances in relation to the Vichy regime are best explained in terms of institutional and structural factors, rather than ideology. Examining four major French literary institutions, from the conservative French Academy to the Comite national des ecrivains, a group formed in 1941 to resist the Occupation, she chronicles the institutions' histories before turning to the ways that they influenced writers' political positions. Sapiro shows how significant institutions and individuals within France's literary field exacerbated their loss of independence or found ways of resisting during the war and Occupation, as well as how they were perceived after Liberation.
Publisher: Duke University Press
Number of pages: 672
Weight: 989 g
Dimensions: 221 x 155 x 43 mm
"Gisele Sapiro's La Guerre des ecrivains originally appeared in 1999. This welcome, if belated, translation after a gap of fifteen years reflects its considerable impact on literary and cultural studies of the Occupation of France since then....What undoubtedly accounts for much of the success of The French Writers' War 1940-1953 is its impressive mastery of a huge amount of data on French literary production of the interwar years and the aftermath of the Occupation: publishers, literary journals and reviews, and a near exhaustive coverage of the writers themselves." -- Nicholas Hewitt * Times Literary Supplement *
"The French Writers' War is an ambitious project. Sapiro has amply succeeded in providing a comprehensive study of four literary institutions, the writers who composed them, and the decisions these figures made before, during, and after the occupation.... The French Writers' War is an illuminating book and Sapiro deserves to be warmly thanked for her contribution." -- Mattie Fitch * H-War, H-Net Reviews *