Moving beyond the rhetoric of provocation: the French and World War II in the novels of the Hussards (1949-1954)

Manuel Braganca

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    Abstract

    In the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, only those who had opposed the Germans or were perceived to have done so could freely express themselves. Soon, however, three young writers clearly leaning to the right of the political spectrum – Antoine Blondin, Roger Nimier and Jacques Laurent – dared to challenge their narratives in a series of provocative novels published between 1949 and 1954. Quickly referred to as the Hussards after the publication in 1952 of a famous essay by Bernard Frank, these writers momentarily occupied the literary space left vacant by their older peers. Without denying the provocative, political and subversive dimensions of the Hussards’ war novels, this article will argue that their success was mainly due to the fact that they were largely in line – and not in contradiction – with the ‘horizon of expectations’ of their time (Jauss, 1982).
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)228-239
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of War & Culture Studies
    Volume8
    Issue number3
    Early online date17 Jun 2015
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015

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