Malraux Left Politics and Anti-Fascism in the 1930

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Malraux: Left Politics and Anti-Fascism in the 1930's Author(s): David James Fisher Source: Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 24, No. 3, Andre Malraux Issue (Autumn, 1978), pp. 290-302 Published by: Hofstra University Stable URL: . Accessed: 21/10/2011 08:32 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected]

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Malraux: Left Politics and Anti-Fascism in the 1930's DAVID JAMES FISHER

Shortly before he died, Malraux reappraised the 1930's. He insisted that a knowledge of anti-fascism was vital to comprehend the dynamics of that tumultuous decade. Anti-fascism was neither a simple negation, nor a single issue. In his words, it represented "un sentiment . . . une attitude . . . aussi une politique."' If viewed as a mind-set with emotional and practical consequences, anti-fascism became the link between the committed writer and the organized masses, as well as the bridge between specific national struggles like the French Popular Front and international resistance to fascism. Unlike Auden and Orwell, Malraux could not characterize the 1930's as "low" or "dishonest:"2 left politics were not merely a "swindle."3 On the contrary, when the anti-fascist intellectual entered the political arena, he set an example without compromising his integrity and without perverting the realms of either literature or politics. If ". . ampleur, dignite, stature, et resonance . . . "4 were the fruits of Romain Rolland's anti-fascist activities, then surely the same could be applied to Malraux's own role during this decade. Despite its doctrinal approach, Lucien Goldmann's Pour Une Sociologie du roman (1964) rightly emphasizes that Malraux raised the most significant cultural and political questions for the period between the two World Wars. Furthermore, Goldmann argues that there was an internal coherence in his writings and actions; his political evolution parallelled that of wide sectors of the population; finally, he was one of the most typical French left-wing intellectuals in the 1930's, especially for the generation that matured after World War I.5


LEFT POLITICS IN THE 1930's In France as in all of Europe, the 1930's turned into a period of sharp political polarization and collective fear. Because of the politicization of debate, much of the discourse of the period strikes us today as hollow if not apocalyptic. However hysterical its tone, the 1930's idiom corresponded to an awareness of a real moral crisis. Writers reacted to this civilizational malaise by calling into question traditional values and existing social relations. They expressed directly old and profound social cleavages, making manifest what had been hidden in earlier epochs. Three overlapping global events converged to produce this crisis: the great Depression; the ascendency of international fascism, particularly after Hitler's seizure of power in 1933; and strategic shifts on the part of Stalin and the Communist International in favor of Popular Front alliances.6 For the French left in the 1930's fascism was the highest stage of human degradation. Malraux once defined fascism as cynicism plus action.7 Nihilism was married to vitalism and given a revolutionary patina. Anti-fascist writers like Malraux saw fascism correctly as the politics of assassination. By 1933 Malraux had emerged as an absolute anti-fascist intellectual. For him, anti-fascism meant war. It was associated with police terror, the suppression of indigenous working class organizations, the imprisonment of political opponents, and the repression of oppositional parties and the dissident press. Fascism had to be fought actively. Malraux's maximum resistance to fascism took many concrete forms: he interceded for political prisoners in Nazi Germany;8 he welcomed German emigre writers in France;9 he vilified the imperialist tendencies of Italian fascism in a polemic with French fascist intellectuals;10 he called for the close collaboration of the French and Spanish Popular Fronts;"1 he filmed, publicized, and wrote eloquently about the bombings of civilian towns in Spain; he organized the Escadille Espafia and took part in 65 air missions during the Spanish Civil War; and he participated in the French Resistance during the German Occupation of France. In short, anti-fascism was the unifying principle of his life and work from 1933 to 1945; it was a crucial mediating factor in his shift of political allegiance from the left in the 1930's to de Gaulle in the period after 1939.12 By the middle 1930's, Malraux recognized that fascism could mobilize vast military and technological resources. Fascists were tactically flexible and capable of making counterrevolutionary alliances with the Church, the military, and big capital. Long before the systematic application of Nazi terror, Malraux and the French left viewed fascism as a potent Caesarist threat. Echoing Engels, they regarded it as a 291


modern reversion to barbarism. Permanent war, the destruction of democratic freedoms, and the negation of European culture were its aims. Thus the anti-fascist watchwords "Defense of Culture" and "Peace and Freedom," coupled with the solidarity of the International Brigades, have to be seen as rejoinders to such fascist slogans as "Long Live Death!" and "Down with the Intelligentsia!" Malraux asserted that fascism exalted fundamental inequalities between men by rooting itself in racism or frenetic nationalism. Fascism was incompatible with Western culture; its preoccupation with force betrayed the humanist tradition. Malraux's mythical consciousness'3 alerted him to the myth-making capacities of fascism. Ultimately fascism sacrificed men to the myths of the leader, the fatherland, the Aryan. Fascists denatured myth by transforming it into naked brutality, by unleashing a primitivism and powerful irrational elements whose goal was destruction.14 The Popular Front era (1934 to 1937) is unintelligible without understanding that anti-fascism was its cementing element. The temporary unity of the Popular Front coalition depended on the collaboration of individuals and groups in a broad inter-class alliance. The Popular Front could not have existed without the consent of nonproletarian social classes. The heterogeneous people's front updated the democratic and Jacobin heritage of the French Revolution; it attempted to reconcile diverse sectors of the French population with the organized working class. In Malraux's lapidary formula, it was "la revanche de Michelet sur Marx."'5 There was a universal, even patriotic, quality to its appeal, a populist and vaguely socialist underpinning rather than a Leninist emphasis on class against class. During the Popular Front era, the French Communist Party (P.C.F.) evolved from an intransigent, minoritarian, ostensibly revolutionary party into a mass political movement with a permanent base among organized workers. From 1932 to 1936 the P.C.F. changed its political orientation, temporarily patched up its historic quarrel with the French Socialists, and left the ghetto. The national presence of the P.C.F. was felt not only in huge increases in Party membership and electoral strength, but also in its attraction for intellectuals, students, and members of the liberal professions. The Party reversed its history of suspicion, its attempts to control intellectual life rigidly; it courted artists and sponsored many avant-garde cultural projects. The most significant cultural experimentation of the era took place under the aegis of the P.C.F. or of the Communist-dominated trade union organizations.


LEFT POLITICS IN THE 1930's Anti-fascist intellectuals provided the coalition with moral authority, prestige, ideological legitimacy, a rhetoric of hope, and a cultural effervescence in the theatres, cinema, universities, and artistic associations. Left-wing artists like Malraux participated in or supported the wave of experiments in popular education, Worker Universities, agit-prop theatres, social cinema, and the proliferation of Houses of Culture.16 Generation gaps momentarily closed: Malraux and the 70 year old Romain Rolland shared the Presidency of the World Committee Against War and Fascism.17 Politically and culturally, the Popular Front was marked by a moderate and fraternal spirit, a willingness to work within the legal and institutional framework of the Third Republic. Nevertheless, the core ideology of anti-fascism remained diffuse and sentimental; it lacked theoretical rigor and tactical clarity.18 It did not promote the joint struggle between the Popular Fronts of Spain and France, and it was unable to overcome the distrust and sectarianism of the French Socialists and Communists. Basically, antifascism developed as a reaction: to the presence of fascism in Italy, Central and Eastern Europe, as well as to the events of February 6, 1934 and the threat of a reactionary coup d'etat in France. As a theory and practice, it proved inadequate to break the stalemate in French society. It never produced tough-minded or charismatic leadership. The left was unable to maintain itself in power or to remain united. The battle against fascism did not mature into an offensive, social revolutionary stand, never initiating a realistic program for the transition from a capitalist to a socialist society. Despite its limitations, not everything was possible in this historical framework. And anti-fascism had arisen as a pragmatic, compromise position-designed to meet the emergency situation of the 1930's. It still became the main rallying point, the great cause, for the left. And certainly, anti-fascism contributed to the prevention of fascist (or extreme right-wing) movements from seizing power in France in the 1930's. Retrospectively, some historians have viewed the French left in the 1930's as unlucky and trapped-mentally and politically unprepared for the advent of fascism and World War II. An even harsher opinion sees the left as old fashioned, naively rationalist, out of touch with contemporary reality, lacking the will to govern or to fight.19 What these judgments neglect is the considerable popular appeal of 1930's left politics, and the fact that anti-fascism was not just a negative movement without a positive philosophy or program. In the writings of



Malraux, the positive elements of that philosophy achieved their finest expression. His elaboration of a socialist humanist idea of man was based on a synthetic view of culture and of a writer's responsibility. Malraux proclaimed that the intellectual's responsibility was to defend culture, particularly those artistic and ideological positions which spared man humiliation and which allowed him to return consciously to essentials. Such a return (or advance) was never simple. For Malraux, the left-wing intellectual had several overlapping roles: he tried to open up the left to other social classes and to widen the notion of the "people" beyond the narrow sphere of manual workers. He transmitted and preserved what was valid in the historical legacy of the past. That legacy was international, not pan-European or French. He devoted himself to the remaking of culture in the present.20 And he helped to make society self-conscious, to give it what Sartre called an "unhappy conscience." Thus the challenge of the writer of the 1930's was to expand the cultural public, to narrow the distance between the producers and consumers of culture, and to create a fresh and genuine revolutionary civilization. All this is what Malraux referred to as a metamorphosis. The defensiveness of 1930's left-wing culture stemmed from the pressure of fascism, the political tenuousness of the Blum government (which fell in 1937), and the loss of legitimacy of the conventional forms of bourgeois culture. Liberalism and middle-of-the-road outlooks lost their credibility because they appeared tied to a social system that was exploitative and outmoded. Furthermore, the existing social order was blamed for the World War, depression, imperialism, and the containment or defeat of socialist experimentation in the U.S.S.R. If threatened, capitalist states clearly preferred the fascist route to the socialist one. Socialist humanism emerged as a positive alternative to this crisis. The socialist humanist made the wager that society could be constructed to eliminate class antagonisms, to organize the modes of production rationally, and to establish qualitative relationships between man and man, man and his labor, and man and nature. For men like Malraux, this quest was for a lost totality; it attempted to restore to man his wholeness. Socialist humanists long for a true community in which producers make decisions and exercise control over their daily lives. In the 1930's such politics urged the deepening and extension of democracy, not the empty reiteration of its formal or legal status. The socialist humanist intellectual articulated the principles of the collective fight



against shame and misery. He voluntarily used his imagination and intellect to entertain, educate, and ignite the masses. As intellectuals became engaged politically, they ended their traditional caste situation and the sacralization of intellectual life. Left-wing intellectuals repudiated their roles as watchdogs of petrified institutions, as beneficiaries of the centralized cultural apparatus of the State, as victims of the caprices of fashion, or as diversions for the boredom of the privileged public. In recognizing that they were not above politics, left-wing intellectuals became aware that political judgments were value judgments; many jettisoned the illusion of absolute neutrality, objectivity, or the notion that one could escape from contemporary history through science, art, or theory building. Not to take a stand in the 1930's was to advocate the status quo, or worse still, to retreat before the fascist menace. It is not accidental that Malraux situated his novelistic masterpieces in those two places where revolutionary movements were most active: China and Spain. The technique of distancing his works from the French context shows Malraux's historical insight at work. It reveals not only his perception of the blocked state of the advanced, industiralized West, but also his belief in the possibilities of the masses making their own history. Recent scholarship about Malraux's relationship to Communism falsifies his commitments by depoliticizing his allegiance to left-wing movements in the 1930's. To reduce his political stances to a "lyrical illusion," "tragic humanism," or "revolutionary romanticism" is to flatten out his relationship to the era; it is to be unhistorical.2' Malraux transformed the Communist ideal into a lifeaffirming myth which substituted revolutionary activity for the West's disorientation and paralysis. In his novels, individual dilemmas do not disappear, but they are superceded by the problems of the larger historical struggle. Despite inner divisions, Malraux's heroes, like him, fuse critical thinking and disciplined activity. His main characters are lucid if complicated; they know pain, solitude, jealousy, rage, yet are capable of real intimacy with their fellows in the common battle against oppression.22 Above all, the revolutionary movement offers a political solution to individual isolation and despair. The fellowship and principles of the collective political movement are what finally allow men to face death. An intellectual variety of Marxism first penetrated into France during the 1930's.23 Marxism became part of the climate of opinion in which Malraux acted and wrote. Yet his Marxism bore little re-



semblance to tendentious socio-economic tracts, or to the vulgar formulations now associated with Stalinism. Like Marx himself, Malraux was not a textbook Marxist. Whenever possible, he resisted crude thinking. Nor was his Marxism merely a method, a scientific tool of social analysis divorced from practice. Malraux blended Nietzsche with Marxism, transforming the will to conquer into the idea of collective struggle. Communism was a revolutionary will reminding the masses that they could dominate events, even if they could not determine the circumstances within which men make history. Malraux's Marxism was an invitation to live life dangerously, to act in order to give life meaning. Malraux's attitude toward Soviet Communism combined his Nietzschean Marxism, his solidarity with Popular Front coalitions, and, above all, his anti-fascism. The exigencies of the anti-fascist struggle forced him to reassess his reservations about Russian Communist tactics and organization. In the period between the publication of Man's Fate and Man's Hope, 1933 to 1937, a period dominated by the growing hegemony of National Socialism, he realized the importance of revolutionary strategy and of organized military resistance to international fascism. Faced with Hitler, Malraux and the majority of French Fellow Travellers argued that non-violence would break the elan of the Popular Front. Consequently they vehemently argued that anti-fascism was incompatible with pacifism.24 Among militant Communists, Malraux discovered the heroism and communitarian values which he sensed were appropriate to the epoch, and which he so desperately craved. The fraternity of the anti-fascist battle among the Republican forces drew him to Spain, made him see Spain as the great symbolic arena for the decade. Just as he had depicted negatively the practice and thought of revolutionary terrorists in his novels, so too did he disapprove of the spontaneous resistance of the Spanish anarchists. Despite their great courage, their methods of struggle were ineffective and doomed to failure against the fascists. No leftist could avoid taking a position on the Soviet Union in the 1930's. Malraux's public defenses of the U.S.S.R. stressed the experimental youthfulness of Russian society. Against the hostile intentions of Western oil and steel cartels, the Soviet Union had to be preserved. He had excellent rapport with several young Soviet artists, and he admired the freshness and non-commercial aspects of Soviet culture.25 Malraux saw the Soviet Union as the only major state which was explicitly and unequivocally anti-fascist. He was convinced that the Soviet intervention on the side of the Spanish Republicans meant a willingness to fight fascism with deeds, not words. The sending of airplanes and weapons 296

LEFT POLITICS IN THE 1930's by the Russians contrasted favorably with the non-intervention policies of the Western democracies, including the Popular Front government of Leon Blum. Compared to the economic misery caused in the West by the depression, the Soviet Union was not only spared massive unemployment, but it had achieved a monumental record of rapid industrialization through the successes of the Five Year Plan. However, from a military point of view, Malraux perceived the Soviet Union in the 1930's as weak, encircled, and highly vulnerable to an attack by the Nazi armies. To be sure, Malraux and the French Fellow Travellers displayed a certain degree of toleration for authoritarian socialism in the U.S.S.R. during this decade. Many were aware of-but did not protest-the distortions of Stalinism and the self-serving policies of the Communist International, including their involvement in the Spanish Civil War. Even after being personally attacked by Trotsky and the extreme left in France, Malraux remained silent about the Moscow Purge Trials and the Nazi-Soviet Pact. In this ruthless era, the left-wing intellectual found himself uncomfortably wedged between competing propaganda systems. And while the demogogery on the right far surpassed that on the left, it was not always easy to harmonize one's moral and political choices. For Malraux, with his glorification of adventure and heroism, it became plain after 1933 that manichean forms of action would be necessary to combat fascism. But one can not reproach Malraux for blind loyalty to the Soviet Union, or for incarnating the party spirit. He always maintained his independence. He criticized the absence of psychology, moral vision, and intellectual rigor in Soviet art and culture; he reminded them that art was a conquest, not a submission, and consequently could not be prescribed by a State or Central Committee. He advised the Soviets not to blunt the creative antagonism between the artist and modern society. He had little use for socialist realism. And he had strong reservations about the Leninist conception of the Party and about proletarian dictatorship, objecting to Communist secrecy and dogma. Most accounts of the cultural politics of France in the 1930's are highly partisan or chiefly negative. Perhaps a preliminary balance sheet ought to be drawn up around Malraux. French left-wing intellectuals like Malraux were integrally connected to both the elan and the contradictions, the victories and the defeats of the Popular Front. They contributed to the inspirational impulses which attempted to unify this political and cultural experiment. Intellectuals and the laboring poor participated in the gatherings and demonstrations, the festive character 297


and the shared emotions, generated by clenched fists and the singing of the Marseillaise or the Internationale. Dialogue between classes created hope and heightened militancy (this was reflected in the famous sit-in strikes of May-June 1936, which produced the Matignon Agreements). In a decade saturated with slogans, the call for unity between mental and manual workers did not seem like empty posturing. It appeared to its partisans to anticipate the future communal society. A great deal of French art and culture of the 1930's has been dismissed as agit-prop. Critics opposed to committed literature have labeled it didactic, unsubtle, self-righteous, hortatory, unable to hold up to close scrutiny. In short, a betrayal of art.26 And clearly not all socialist and anti-fascist commitments were easily fused with revolutionary modes of expression. However not many decades of turmoil produce masterpieces and significant cultural achievements. The 1930's in France produced both. If we think of Renoir's films, the poetry of Aragon and Eluard, Picasso's paintings, Henri Lefebvre's philosophy, Georges Friedmann's sociological works, Georges Lefebvre's historical studies, and above all, Malraux's novels, it becomes plain that the left created qualitative and enriching cultural monuments. If we consider the efforts at cultural decentralization (houses of culture, Writers' Associations, political theatre, cinema, and use of the mass media), and if we consider the effort to bridge the gap between the artist and his public, it becomes evident that the precedents set in the 1930's were to be resurrected in later eras. With Malraux as our paradigm, we can draw seven conclusions about the French anti-fascist left-wing intellectual in the 1930's: 1) Protest and contestation. The anti-fascist left-wing intellectual transformed mental and artistic life into protest; he understood that negation was the starting point of political engagement. He opposed transparent forms of tyranny like fascist ideologies or mass movements. Writing became a legitimate form of contestation. The writer reexamined prevailing social attitudes, values, norms, institutions, and existing authority and power relations. Since contestation developed into an agency for raising consciousness, writing was conceived as a form of action. 2) Spokesman. The left-wing intellectual served as a spokesman for the oppressed (defined broadly as the working class, the unemployed, the victims of fascism, the colonized, the poor, the culturally deprived). While serving those who were alienated and cut off from discourse, the writer described social injustices and provoked the reader's indignation. Writers often blurred the distinction between taking 298


stands and serving as exemplary models for the oppressed. They often exaggerated the importance of intellectual activity. Some were guilty of romanticizing their roles; others tended to posture, or to indulge in self-dramatization. Still others failed to realize that class-conscious intellectuals were privileged, and that oppressed peoples could not always emulate their exceptional behavior and advanced consciousness. 3) Responsibility to, but criticism of, culture. The left-wing intellectual, steeped in high forms of culture (the European legacy of literature, science, philosophy, art, and religion), considered culture an instrument of human liberation. Commitment turned on a critical relationship to past and present forms of culture. The writer combated any wholesale dismissal of art or theory, any form of anti-intellectualism, as a terrorist position. He regarded fascist book burnings, censorship, and loyalty oaths as reprehensible-as clear indications of the regressive state of fascist civilization. The left-wing intellectual also criticized the prevailing, stale forms of bourgeois culture. Part of his job was to demystify conformist attitudes, to decipher modern myths, and to unmask the contemporary idiom which depoliticized language. Thus, his own relationship to culture was ambivalent: he attempted to salvage what was valid in old forms while continuing to invent and to revitalize new modes of expression. The task for the future was to integrate the social and the psychological in the process of creating a cultural revolution and a revolutionary culture. 4) Democratization. The left-wing intellectual worked to break down the rigid division of labor in modern society, especially the gap between intellectuals and workers. He tried to shatter the exclusivity of high culture in France in order to make it more accessible to the masses, and to encourage the direct participation of poor people in cultural endeavors. He denounced the fascist approach to culture as anti-democratic, elitist, racist, and repressive. The left-wing intellectual tried to mediate between high and popular culture, by advocating mass forms of entertainment, mechanically reproduced forms of art, and the broadening of the leisure time activities and tastes of the working class. Such mediation was a delicate balancing process, for the intellectual did not wish to denature the cultural products, or to allow art to be instrumentalized into trivial amusements or agit-prop. 5) Ideology. The left-wing intellectual accepted the role of ideology in modern cultural enterprises. His own ideology syncretized, sometimes amorphously, anti-fascism, anti-imperialism, and socialist humanism. The left-wing stance allowed the intellectual to expose the consensus mentality and politics of the established order. The writer 299


affirmed that the future of culture was connected, however ambiguously, to the coming of socialism to France and to Europe. 6) Revolution. The left-wing intellectual raised the issue of social revolution; he tried to assess when and if radical social change was desirable, who ought to participate in social movements, who ought to play a vanguard role, what ought to perish and what ought to be retained in the old society. Finally, he asked whether the revolutionary restructuring of society was worth the risk of massive violence and repression, even if fought in a worthy cause against an entrenched and militaristic opponent like fascism. 7) Collective consciousness on the left. The left-wing intellectual helped to construct a collective consciousness on the left, integrating an awareness of history, culture, politics, communitarianism and a commitment to authentic values. Authentic values, tested in extreme situations, were determined by the deliberate choice of behavior which affirmed freedom and dignity, which safeguarded a culture committed to abundance and splendor in this world. The left's collective consciousness inherited the French democratic and revolutionary tradition, while addressing itself to the particular tensions of life in a threatened situation. This collective consciousness was neither utopian nor aesthetic; rather it emerged from the daily practice of left politics, taking a concrete shape in the combat against the fascist enemy. Its central unifying element was fraternity. 1 Andre Malraux, "Preface,"L'Indpendancede l'esprit:Correspondance entre Jean Guehennoet RomainRolland,1919-1944. Cahiers Romain Rolland, no. 23 (Paris: Albin Michel, 1975), p. 7. 2 See W. H. Auden, "September 1, 1939," cited in Samuel Hynes, The Auden Generation:Literatureand Politicsin England in the 1930's (New York: Viking Press, 1977), p. 382. 3 George Orwell, Homageto Catalonia(New York: Harcourt Brace, 1952), pp. 4181, 46, 65, 145, 149, 159. Malraux, "Preface,"p. 12. 5 Lucien b une etude Goldmann, Pour Une Sociologiedu roman:Introduction structurale desromansde Malraux(Paris:Gallimard,1970), pp. 71, 79, 81, 85, 87, 234, 272-274, 276. 6 Malraux, "Preface," pp. 7, 8, 12, 13. See also Stanley Hoffmann, "Paradoxesof the French PoliticalCommunity,"in In Searchof France,ed. by Hoffmann (New York: Harper and Row, 1963), pp. 1-52. Stanley 7 Andre Malraux,Man's Hope. Translated by Stuart Gilbert and Alistair Macdonald (New York: Random House, 1968), pp. 137. 8 For his campaignsin favor of Thaelmann and Dimitrov,see Jean Lacouture, Andre Malraux. Translated by Alan Sheridan (New York: Pantheon, 1975), pp. 180-184. 300

LEFT POLITICS IN THE 1930's 9 For Malraux's address, see Paul Vaillant-Couturier, ed., Ceux qui ont choisi (Paris, 1933), p. 15. This pamphlet was sponsored by the Association des Ecrivains et Artistes Revolutionnaires. 10 Andre Malraux, "Response aux 64," Commune, no. 28 (decembre 1935), pp. 410-416. This text was translated in Yale French Studies, No. 18, pp. 28-31. 11Andre Malraux, "Pour la collaboration des Front Populaires espagnol et trancais," in Agir dans la clarte (Paris, 1936), p. 61. This address was given before the Plenary Conference of the World Committee Against War and Fascism, June 6-7, 1936. 12 Janine Mossuz, Andre Malraux et le gaullisme (Paris: Armand Colin, 1970), pp. 23-42. See also Andre Malraux, Fallen Oaks: Conversationswith de Gaulle. Translated by Irene Clephane (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1972). 13 David James Fisher, "Malraux's Imagination: The Mythical Nature of Character Portraits in Anti-Memoirs," The French Review, 47, no. 2 (December, 1973), pp. 360-373. 14Andre Malraux, "Sur l'Heritage culturel," Commune, no. 37 (septembre, 1936), pp. 1-9. 15 Malraux,


p. 9.

On the cultural politics of the French Popular Front, see Elizabeth G. Strebel, "French Social Cinema and the Popular Front,"Journal of Contemporary History, XII, no. 3 (July, 1977), pp. 499-519; Pascal Ory, "De 'Cine-Liberte' a la Marseillaise," Le Mouvementsocial, no. 91 (avril-juin, 1975), pp. 153-175; Nicole Racine, "L'Association des Ecrivains et Artistes revolutionnaires (AEAR)," Le Mouvementsocial, no. 54 (janvier-mars 1966), pp. 29-47; and Jean-Pierre Bernard, Le Parti communistefrancais et la question litteraire, 1921-1939 (Grenoble: Presses Univ. de Grenoble, 1972), pp. 147-200. 17 Andre Malraux, Anti-Memoirs. Translated by Terance Kilmartin (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1968), p. 84. On page 89, Malraux mentions how "writers have carried weight in French politics," particularly in the modern era. 18 George Lichtheim, Marxismin Modern France (New York: Columbia University Press, 1966), p. 44: "Anti-Fascism is not a distinctive political creed, any more than is Anti-Stalinism. However estimable such sentiments may be, they are too vague and diffuse to lend themselves to analytical treatment." 19David Caute, The Fellow Travellers:A Postscriptto the Enlightenment(New York: Macmillan, 1973), pp. 250-266; James Joll, "The Front Populaire-After Thirty Years," Journal of ContemporaryHistory, I, no. 2 (1966), pp. 27-42; Joel Colton, "Politics and Economics in the 1930's: The Balance Sheets of the 'Blum New Deal'," From the Ancien Regime to the Popular Front ed. by Charles Warner (New York: Columbia University Press, 1969), pp. 181-208. 20 Andre Malraux, "L'art est une conquete," Commune, no. 13 (oct. 1934), "L'Attitude de l'artiste," Commune,no. 15 (nov. 1934), pp. 166-174; 68-71; pp. "Preface," to Le Temps du mepris (Paris: Gallimard, 1935), pp. 11-13; "Sur l'Heritage culturel," Commune, no. 37 (sept. 1936), pp. 1-9; "La Culture en danger," Commune, no. 40 (dec. 1936), pp. 424-426. (This latter text was a manifesto sponsored by the Association des Ecrivains pour la Defense de la Culture and was signed-in addition to Malraux-by Gide, Romain Rolland, 16


TWENTIETH CENTURY LITERATURE Jean-Richard Bloch, Andre Chamson, Aragon, Louis Fischer, Ludwig Renn and Jos6 Bergamin. 21 For a sample, see Hugh Thomas, "The Lyrical Illusion: Spain 1936," in Malraux: Life and Work, ed. by Martine de Courcel (London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1976), pp. 40-50; Manes Sperber, "Malraux and Politics," Ibid., pp. 153-168; C. L. Sulzberger, "The Human Condition of Malraux," Ibid., pp. 204-211. 22 Andre Malraux, "Postface," in The Conquerors.Translated by Jacques Le Clercq (Boston: Beacon Press, 1962), p. 175. 23 For information concerning the penetration of Marxism into France after World War I, see Mark Poster, Existential Marxismin Postwar France: From Sartre to Althusser (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1975), pp. 36-37; George Lichtheim, Marxism in Modern France, pp. 1-79; David James Fisher "The Rolland Barbusse Debate," Survey, no. 2/3 (91/92), Spring-Summer, 1974, pp. 121-159. 24 Andre Malraux, "Pour la collaboration des Fronts populaires espagnol et francais," in Agir dans la clarte, p. 61. Malraux's remarks were published in a series significantly entitled Strategie et tactique de la lutte contre la guerre et le fascisme, which carried tracts in favor of collective security, attacks on the politics of appeasement, and violent polemics against French pacifism. For a complete discussion of the tensions between pacifism and anti-fascism in the 1930's, see my forthcoming The French Left-Wing Intellectual in the Period Between the Wars. 25 Isaiah Berlin, "Malraux, the Russians of the 1930's and Many Other Things, or Is the Parthian Language Really Lost?", in Malraux: Life and Work, pp. 30-39. 26 For examples, see John E. Flower, "Writers and Politics in Modern France," in John E. Flower, J. A. Morris, C. E. Williams, Writersand Politics in Modern Britain, France and Germany (New York: Holmes and Meier, 1977).


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