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The purge and the codification of memory in postwar French literature and film

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Title
The purge and the codification of memory in postwar French literature and film
Name (type = personal)
NamePart (type = family)
Segura
NamePart (type = given)
Louis
NamePart (type = date)
1976-
DisplayForm
Louis Segura
Role
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author
Name (type = personal)
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Parker
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Andrew
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Andrew Parker
Affiliation
Advisory Committee
Role
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chair
Name (type = corporate)
NamePart
Rutgers University
Role
RoleTerm (authority = RULIB)
degree grantor
Name (type = corporate)
NamePart
School of Graduate Studies
Role
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school
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Text
Genre (authority = marcgt)
theses
OriginInfo
DateCreated (qualifier = exact)
2019
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2019-01
CopyrightDate (encoding = w3cdtf)
2019
Place
PlaceTerm (type = code)
xx
Language
LanguageTerm (authority = ISO639-2b); (type = code)
eng
Abstract (type = abstract)
This dissertation is about the influence of the postwar Purge on francité, or French national identity and cultural memory, as expressed in cinematic and literary representations of the Occupation and the Resistance. My dissertation begins in 1944 with the Liberation of Paris when Paris was plunged into a war with itself in what is known as l’épuration. The Purge as it is commonly known in English was a series of expedited trials beginning before the liberation which were meant to punish French citizens known or suspected to have collaborated with the Germans during the Occupation. I show that the Purge created an aesthetic and political shift in postwar French literature and film by constituting new metaphors to articulate francité which continues to permeate contemporary representations of the Occupation and the Resistance. I argue that the Purge casts a shadow over postwar France and its on-going effort to navigate the codes of national identity, cultural memory, and by extension, francité to show how the Purge and representations of the Occupation and the Resistance are not just historical events but part of a living experience that continue to shape and be shaped by French cultural memory. I conclude that since 1944 there has been an interplay between the political and the popular that manifests in the representations of the Occupation and the Resistance which I demonstrate by drawing attention to shifting signifieds like patriotism and nationalism which form the contours of a more diverse and heterogeneous francité. My dissertation considers films with literature on an equal basis and contributes an analysis of French films of the period which have not received the same critical attention as literature.
My dissertation is in two two-part chapters in which I contextualize popular cinematic and literary representations of the Occupation and the Resistance throughout the Purge and thereafter to highlight a development of a discourse of francité. Part I, “The Purge: The Resistance and Its Referents” focuses on the immediate postwar period (1944 to 1946) as represented in film and demonstrates the importance of cinema during the Purge as France begins to try to come to terms with what has come to be known as les années noires, or the “Dark Years,” of the Occupation. In first chapter “La Libération de Paris and the Liberation of French Cinema” I discuss the short documentary film La Libération de Paris while exploring the cultural and historical demands on the postwar film industry as constituted by the Purge. I argue that the Purge rearticulated French identity in liberated Paris, shaping French cultural memory via the documentary film La Liberation de Paris. In chapter two “Purpose, Intention, and The Purge in La Bataille du rail and Jéricho” I develop this argument by analyzing two fictional films, both made in 1946, that portray the Occupation and the Resistance using documentary footage: La Bataille du rail (dir. Réné Clément) and Jéricho (dir. Henri Calef). In this chapter I argue that French cinema responded directly to the Purge which then went on to impact French postwar cultural memory and subsequent representations of the Occupation and the Resistance.
In Part II, “Tracing the Purge” I focus on writing and authorial intention and how the Purge and its legacy continues to inform French politics and identity. I begin with a chapter on Albert Camus’ La Peste (1947) titled “La Peste: An Allegory of the Purge.” This chapter serves as a literary analogue to the exploration of film from Part I and engages directly with the ethics of representation, especially allegory. In the chapter I argue that La Peste is a critique of the Purge in that Camus draws attention to social and political conflicts of postwar France to construct a narrative of fragmented francité. In the final chapter, “Guy Môquet and the Memory Laws: Tracing the Purge in the 21st century” I contextualize the contemporary and recurring discussion of the Second World War in France in order to explore the legacy of the Purge and to consider how these representations shift into the twenty-first century. I argue that the Memory Laws are an extension of the Purge in that they re-frame current representations of the Occupation and the Resistance and the cultural memory of the war into a more diverse and heterogeneous francité for the 21st century.
Subject (authority = RUETD)
Topic
Comparative Literature
Subject (authority = ETD-LCSH)
Topic
French literature--20th century--History and criticism
Subject (authority = ETD-LCSH)
Topic
Trials (Treason) in literature
RelatedItem (type = host)
TitleInfo
Title
Rutgers University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Identifier (type = RULIB)
ETD
Identifier
ETD_9535
PhysicalDescription
Form (authority = gmd)
electronic resource
InternetMediaType
application/pdf
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text/xml
Extent
1 online resource (181 pages) : illustrations
Note (type = degree)
Ph.D.
Note (type = bibliography)
Includes bibliographical references
Note (type = statement of responsibility)
by Louis Alexander Segura
RelatedItem (type = host)
TitleInfo
Title
School of Graduate Studies Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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rucore10001600001
Location
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NjNbRU
Identifier (type = doi)
doi:10.7282/t3-j85f-0618
Genre (authority = ExL-Esploro)
ETD doctoral
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Rights

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The author owns the copyright to this work.
RightsHolder (type = personal)
Name
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Segura
GivenName
Louis
Role
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RightsEvent
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Permission or license
DateTime (encoding = w3cdtf); (qualifier = exact); (point = start)
2019-01-14 21:02:41
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Name
Louis Segura
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Copyright holder
Affiliation
Rutgers University. School of Graduate Studies
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Author Agreement License
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I hereby grant to the Rutgers University Libraries and to my school the non-exclusive right to archive, reproduce and distribute my thesis or dissertation, in whole or in part, and/or my abstract, in whole or in part, in and from an electronic format, subject to the release date subsequently stipulated in this submittal form and approved by my school. I represent and stipulate that the thesis or dissertation and its abstract are my original work, that they do not infringe or violate any rights of others, and that I make these grants as the sole owner of the rights to my thesis or dissertation and its abstract. I represent that I have obtained written permissions, when necessary, from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis or dissertation and will supply copies of such upon request by my school. I acknowledge that RU ETD and my school will not distribute my thesis or dissertation or its abstract if, in their reasonable judgment, they believe all such rights have not been secured. I acknowledge that I retain ownership rights to the copyright of my work. I also retain the right to use all or part of this thesis or dissertation in future works, such as articles or books.
Copyright
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Copyright protected
Availability
Status
Open
Reason
Permission or license
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