Absent without Leave by Denis Hollier
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Absent without Leave
By Denis Hollier

Absent without Leave

French Literature Under the Threat of War

By (author) See other recent books by Denis Hollier
Translated by Catherine Porter See other recent books by Catherine Porter
Format: Paperback

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Absent without Leave by Denis Hollier

Book Description

They were not the "Banquet Years", those anxious wartime years when poets and novelists were made to feel embarrassed by their impulse to write literature. And yet it was the attitude of those writers and critics in the 1930s and 1940s that shaped French literature - the ideas of Derrida, Foucault, de Man, Deleuze, and Ricoeur - and has so influenced literary enterprise in the English-speaking world since 1968. This literary history, the prehistory of postmodernism, is what Denis Hollier recovers in his interlocking studies of the main figures of French literary life before the age of anxiety gave way to the era of existentialist commitment. Georges Bataille, Michel Leiris, Roger Cailois, Andre Malraux and the early Jean-Paul Sartre are the figures Hollier considers, writers torn between politics and the pleasures of the text. They appear here balancing the influences of the philosopher and the man of action. These studies aim to convey the paradoxical heroism of writers fighting for a world that would extend no rights or privileges to writers, writing for a world in which literature would become a reprehensible frivolity. If the 19th century was that of the consecration of the writer, this was the time for their sacrificial death, and Hollier captures the comical pathos of these writers pursuing the ideal of engagement through an exercise in dispossession. His work identifies the master plot for literature that was crafted in the 1940s, a plot in which we are still very much entangled.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674212718
ISBN-10: 0674212711
Format: Paperback
(235mm x 155mm x 15mm)
Pages: 244
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 31-Dec-1997
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Denis Hollier

Neutral by Denis Hollier Neutral, Paperback (July 2007)

The Neutral ( le neutre) escapes or undoes the paradigmatic binary oppositions that structure and produce meaning in Western thought and discourse. This book centers around 23 "figures," also referred to as "traits" or "twinklings," that are possible embodiments of the Neutral or of the anti-Neutral.

Literary Debate by Denis Hollier Literary Debate, Hardback (February 2000)

This volume collates essays that offer an overview of French literary criticism, its revolutions and obsessions, institutions and interpretations. It combines examinations of literature as an institution and in historical context with interpretations of work by such authors as Mallarme and Freud.

New History of French Literature by Denis Hollier New History of French Literature, Paperback (October 1994)

This text provides an introduction to French literature from 842 AD to the 1990s. It contains numerous essays by contemporary critics and theorists, and covers topics ranging from Proust and women authors to discourse and power.

Against Architecture by Denis Hollier Against Architecture, Paperback (April 1992)

Against Architecture offers the first serious interpretation of this challenging thinker, spelling out the profoundly original and radical nature of Bataille's work.

» View all books by Denis Hollier


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Author Biography - Denis Hollier

Denis Hollier is Chairman of the Department of French at Yale University. He is the author of many books, including works on Sartre and Bataille.

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