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Memory and Politics

Representations of War in the Work of Louis Aragon

On the one hand, Louis Aragon (1897–1982) was iconoclastic: a founding member of the Surrealist movement, the son of a man who was masqueraded as his godfather for the first nineteen years of his life, and a bisexual who came out following the death of his wife. On the other hand, like so many other writers who as young men witnessed the slaughter of World War I at close quarters, Aragon was profoundly marked by the experience. Within his multifaceted oeuvre, the overarching theme of war is one permanent and unchangeable facet of this work—and while many books have been published on Aragon, none go beyond the figure of the Resistance poet to explore the subject of war throughout his career. Memory and Politics does just that, tracing two strands of Aragon’s critique of war: an ideological strand which voices the policies of the Communist Party, and a personal strand which voices memory and loss.

176 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

French and Francophone Studies

Literature and Literary Criticism: Romance Languages


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Table of Contents

Series editors’ preface
A note on editions and abbreviations
Chapter one: The First World War: the socialist critique of war during the entre-duex-guerres
Chapter two: Remembering the First World War
Chapter three: Communist perspectives on the Second World War
Chapter four: The Second World War: memory and commemoration
Chapter five: ’Nouvelle occupation, nouvelle resistance’: poetry and cultural memory during the Cold War
Chapter six: War revisted: memory and forgetting after 1956
Select bibliography

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