The French Avant-Garde

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

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Strictly speaking, “the French avant-garde” denotes a radical branch of Modernism encompassing a massive volume of experimental cultural and intellectual activity conducted in France in the first half of the twentieth century. In practice, “avant-garde” is a profoundly open-ended marker that has been applied usefully, but also unhelpfully, to a range of figures in nineteenth-century and post-WWII French culture, with the precise meaning of the term a continued source of critical debate. The notion of a “French” avant-garde also needs delimitation: while much European avant-garde production emanated from Paris as a global capital for the arts, with Montmartre and Montparnasse particular centres of activity at different times, a considerable number of the central players within…

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Citation: Forcer, Stephen. "The French Avant-Garde". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 February 2011 [, accessed 13 April 2024.]

14901 The French Avant-Garde 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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