Literature In France In 1940’s
The big influence to the French literature in the 1940’s has The World War II. The realistic prose was prevailed over other literature genres. It was represented by the antiwar novels. In 20th century start a new development in the French literature – it was existentialism.
Existentialism is a movement in literature that emphasizes individuality, choice and freedom. This movement reached peak in mid-20th century in France. According to philosopher Luke Mustine, existentialism is based on the view that humans define their own meaning in life, and try to make rational decisions despite existing in an irrational universe. He says that this movement focuses on the question of human existence, and the feeling that there is no purpose or explanation at the core of existence. (Mastine, 2008)
The main idea of existentialism in literature is the alienation. “The people are not a part of a great human community, each of us is individuality. Your destiny is your own choice.” – it is a message of existentialism writers. For this reason this literature movement holds to a few basic tenets. And according to author of the article “Existentialism in Literature” Karen Bernardo – first tent, existentialists seek to avoid intruding on the lives and “boundaries” of others. Secondly, existentialism disavows a sense of “pattern” in the universe, a grand scheme in which we all play a part. (Bernardo)
The most popular authors of this movement in France were Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus and also Simone de Beauvoir. Most of all works were popularized existential themes, such as alienation, the freedom and absurd, nothingness and dread.
The leader of the movement Jean-Paul Sartre realized the idea of the existentialism in his most important works “Nausea” “The Flies”. The same ideas of existentialism were echoed by Albert Camus in “The Stranger”, “The Plague”. Also, not less important existentialist – Simone de Beauvoir and her works “The Ethics of Ambiguity”.
After World War II, in France begin reviving literature life and start renewing. This literature movement has played a significant role in the 20th century’s philosophy and literature. The 1940’s literature in France gives a lot of significant names, such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus and Simone de Beauvoir, which have fill up the world literature’s treasury.
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