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Candide ou camouflé, partout ou nulle part? : art and anti-Semitism in Candide, Gringoire, and Je suis partout

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Disciplines
  • Design
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science

Abstract

In the years that followed World War I, conditions in Europe were the major reason for the rise of extreme Right and extreme Left parties. A unique period in history, it invested many aspects of life with its characteristic political atmosphere. Not least among these dimensions was art, which--according to the ambiguous aesthetic guidelines of the time--was perceived, politicized, and produced differently by the various parties throughout Europe. For the western-European Right, one unambiguous guideline pervaded and transcended the Franco-Germanic border: anti-Semitism. In an attempt to contribute to the debate that surrounds the cultural politics of inter-war and Occupation France, this thesis looks at the three leading weekly newspapers produced by the French Right, namely Candide, Gringoire , and Je suis partout . Covering the period from 1936 to 1944, it seeks to understand how the arts were dealt with, especially but not exclusively by the resident art critics at each of the newspapers. Considering occasional editorials, reviews, news snippets, and even cartoons, this thesis argues above all that though anti-Semitism and lament for the current state of the French arts are both ubiquitous, the link between the two--made elsewhere in France and Europe, before, during, and after the period under discussion--is not made before the Occupation, and is only made by one writer at Je suis partout in the occupied capital city.

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