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Author Corbin, Christophe
Title Fiction and Ordinary Heroes in the Service of the Nation A Cultural History of the French Resistance
book jacket
Descript 389 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 73-08, Section: A, page:
Adviser: Dominique Jullien
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of California, Santa Barbara, 2012
This interdisciplinary dissertation explores the intricate relationship between French cultural production, from 1940 to the present day, on the one hand, and the documented history of the French Resistance (1940-1944) on the other. This study examines the extent to which cinema, literature and television have impacted our understanding, or, more precisely, our "vision" of the Occupation years. This project thus investigates what fictions tell us about the lens(es) through which France has regarded her recent past, and demonstrates in the pathway of Pierre Nora how their sum constitutes "a place of memory." In studying the resilience of the last great French national myth and its evolution, this dissertation considers the democratization of the hero (male and female) in postwar fictions to determine to what degree certain stories contribute to the making of history and the shaping of national identity. As cultural mediums of all sorts consistently interact with one another, they contribute, through different means, to the same rehistoricizing and mythologizing process. This project thus offers a vision both panoramic and detailed on the topic at hand: it takes into consideration fictional representations of the French Resistance from a historical and literary point of view, and offers case studies of those deemed most influential. Chapter one offers to situate the cultural production under study as part of a "national narrative" dating back to the France's defeat to a coalition of German states in 1870. Chapter two explores the literary production of the Occupation subsequent to her defeat to Germany in 1940, which was to sow the seeds of a myth of a dignified nation united against a common enemy that was to blossom after the Liberation in the summer of 1944. Chapter three focuses on veiled dissenting voices during the war, but also after when those not supporting the aforementioned myth felt they could only contest it obliquely. Chapter four concentrates on the exceptional but long under-represented role played by women in the Resistance. Chapter five discusses a peculiar aspect of Resistance cinema: comedy -a genre neglected by writers, but hugely popular in the theatre (and later on television). Chapter six examines the renewed and recent interest in the Resistance manifested by French television, which has greatly contributed to the cultural production of the last two decades. Finally, this dissertation includes a comprehensive list of films, novels, poems, and graphic novels on the French Resistance from 1940 to present day
School code: 0035
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 73-08A
Subject Literature, Romance
History, European
Mass Communications
Alt Author University of California, Santa Barbara. French
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