This book explores social, political, and cultural issues that arose in connection with literature largely conceived in the aftermath of World War II, and extending throughout the twentieth century. It contains essays on France, focusing on individual writers such as Paul Valéry, Jacques Maritain, Albert Camus, André Malraux, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Yves Bonnefoy, and on French intellectuals between the wars. The book also looks at Germany and Romania, with essays on Ernst Juenger, Gottfried Benn, Erich Kahler, E. M. Cioran, Mircea Eliade, and Eugène Ionesco. Other essays focus on Nicola Chiaromonte and his ideas on the novel and modern history since Napoleon, Gary Saul Morson, Ian Watt, T. S. Eliot, and R. P. Blackmur. Finally, the book discusses the history of the novel and the art of literary realism.
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