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 …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Forcer, Stephen. "The French Avant-Garde". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 February 2011
[, accessed 03 July 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. Experiment and Avant-Gardes