This book consists of essays and reviews that address social, political, and cultural issues which arose in connection with literature broadly conceived in the wake of the First World War, and extending throughout the twentieth century. The first portion of the volume concerns France, with both essays on individual writers such as Paul Valery, Jacques Maritain, Albert Camus, Andre Malraux, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Yves Bonnefoy and a piece on French intellectuals between the wars.
The second part concerns Germany and Romania, withessays on Ernst Juenger, Gottfried Benn, Erich Kahler, E. M. Cioran, and others. The volume concludes with essays on problems of literary criticism, in dialogue with such critics as Gary Saul Morson, Ian Watt, T. S. Eliot, and R. P. Blackmur. These essays also discuss the history of the novel and the question of "realism."
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