Martin Heidegger's impact on contemporary thought is important and controversial. However in France, the influence of this German philosopher is such that contemporary French thought cannot be properly understood without reference to Heidegger and his extraordinary influence. Tom Rockmore examines the reception of Heidegger's thought in France. He argues that in the period after the Second World War, due to the peculiar nature of the humanist French Philosophical tradition, Heidegger became the master thinker of French philosophy. Perhaps most importantly, he contends that this reception - first as philosophical anthropology and later as postmetaphysical humanism - is systematically mistaken.
Offering new critical approaches to Dada as quintessential part of the Avant-Garde, Dada and Existentialism: the Authenticity of Ambiguity reassesses the movement as a form of (proto-) Existentialist philosophy. Dada is often dismissed as an anti-art movement with a merely destructive theoretical impetus. French Existentialism is often condemned for its perceived quietist implications. However, closer analysis reveals a preoccupation with philosophy in the former and with art in the latter. Moreover, neither was nonsensical or meaningless; both reveal a rich individualist ethics aimed at the amelioration of the individual and society. The first major comparative study of Dada and Existentialism, this text contributes new perspectives on Dada as movement, historical legacy, and field of study. Analysing Dada works through Existentialist literature across the themes of choice, alienation, responsibility, freedom and truth, the text posits that Dada and Existentialism both advocate the creation of a self that aims for authenticity through ambiguity.
This book reveals how France reinvented itself in the aftermath of World War Two. After foreign military interventions, the French political and intellectual elites embraced regime change and launched an urgent programme of nation building. They rebuilt French national identity with whatever material was available, and created a vibrant new cultural and intellectual life. The cost to subordinated groups, however, especially women, still casts a long shadow over French values and attitudes. In this, perhaps, there are lessons and implications for other countries, struggling to rebuild themselves after conflict.
Musical Culture and Creativity in France during Vichy and the German Occupation
Author: Jane F. Fulcher
Pubpsher: Oxford University Press
In Renegotiating French Identity, Jane Fulcher addresses the question of cultural resistance to the German occupation and Vichy regime during the Second World War. Nazi Germany famously stressed music as a marker of national identity and cultural achievement, but so too did Vichy. From the opera to the symphony, music did not only serve the interests of Vichy and German propaganda: it also helped to reveal the motives behind them, and to awaken resistance among those growing disillusioned by the regime. Using unexplored Resistance documents, from both the clandestine press and the French National Archives, Fulcher looks at the responses of specific artists and their means of resistance, addressing in turn Pierre Schaeffer, Arthur Honegger, Francis Poulenc, and Olivier Messiaen, among others. This book investigates the role that music played in fostering a profound awareness of the cultural and political differences between conflicting French ideological positions, as criticism of Vichy and its policies mounted.
This interdisciplinary study reviews the entirety of Simone Weil's writings on philosophy, history, science, religion, language, folklore and literature in order to give a total perspective of Weil's extensive contributions to twentieth-century thought. In each of these fields, the forces of uprooting and integration move towards a resolution of the problem of estrangement. The extent of Weil's study of the problem of alienation has long been underestimated and so has the value of her contributions. Among these were her role in the formulation of modern existentialist philosophies, her involvement with the crisis of determinism and her refusal of discontinuous forms of probability that had led to quantum mechanics, her denunciation of colonial policies and the bureaucratization of power and labor, and her search for original meaning in language, mythology and poetic expression. This study is an exploration of each of these areas in Weil's writings and the contribution of each to the dialectical power of the forces of uprooting and integration.