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Rayonnement et propagande culturels français autour de la « panlatinité »

Les échanges entre intellectuels français et hispano-américains au début du vingtième siècle

Amotz Giladi

At the beginning of the twentieth century, numerous Hispano-American writers, who were often also diplomats, arrived in Paris. They established contact with French intellectuals, mainly academics, and participated actively in French intellectual life. The exchanges between these Hispano-American and French intellectuals were based on a common identification with Latinism, a pan-nationalistic ideology developed in Europe and Latin America since the nineteenth century and calling for unification of all “Latin” peoples. Hispano-American elites and intellectuals, looking for a way to federate all Latin-American countries against the power of the United States, and seeking a rapprochement with France for political and cultural reasons, largely supported pan-Latinism. As for their French intellectual partners, eager to reinforce their country's global influence, they conveyed the pan-Latin ideology in the framework of their efforts to promote French cultural presence in Latin America. During the Great War, these cultural and intellectual initiatives concerning pan-Latinism drew the attention of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, leading to their integration in the newly created French international propaganda mechanism.

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Amotz Giladi

Israeli poet Yonatan Ratosh was the leader of the Young Hebrews, a nationalist group active from the 1940s to the 1970s. Despite his opposition to Zionism and his aspiration to revive the ancient Hebrews’ premonotheistic civilization, Ratosh shared Zionism’s ambition to elaborate a new Israeli identity. One prominent act of this mission involved enlarging the literary corpus in Hebrew through translation. Although initially a means of income, for Ratosh translation increasingly came to be a way to express his ideological position and his self-image as an intellectual. Thus, Ratosh provides an example of how developing a national identity can coincide with appropriating foreign literature. With his regular exhortations that Hebrew readers attain knowledge of foreign cultures, Ratosh did not intend to promote cosmopolitanism. Rather, he considered these endeavors as ultimately reinforcing a “Hebrew” identity.

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Amotz Giladi

The trajectory of the writer and critic Camille Mauclair (1872–1945) was marked by two ruptures: having begun his career within the internationalized avant-gardes, oriented toward Symbolism and Anarchism, he moved away from these circles at the turn of the century. Indeed, the crisis that Symbolism and Anarchism underwent during these years led Mauclair toward Neo-Classicism. To his new esthetic vision was added, during the Great War, a nationalist positioning that led him to virulent xenophobia in the interwar period. Foreign artists were henceforth denounced by Mauclair as being the cause of France's so-called cultural decadence. The turnaround in Mauclair's esthetic and political vision reflects the “return to order” tendencies that grew stronger in French culture from the end of the nineteenth century, attaining their summit during World War II. The propagation of these tendencies was largely due to the influence that the esthetic and ideological reflections of Charles Maurras exerted in intellectual circles.

French La trajectoire de l'écrivain et critique Camille Mauclair (1872–1945) fut marquée par deux ruptures: ayant commencé sa carrière au sein des avant-gardes internationalisées, orientées vers le symbolisme et l'anarchis me, il s'éloigna de ces milieux au tournant du siècle. En eff et, la crise subie par le symbolisme et l'anarchisme durant ces années amena Mauclair vers le néo-classicisme. À cette nouvelle vision esthétique s'ajouta, durant la Grande Guerre, un positionnement nationaliste qui déboucha, dans l'entre-deux-guerres, sur une xénophobie virulente. Dès lors, les artistes étrangers furent étiquetés par Mauclair comme les responsables d'une prétendue décadence culturelle de la France. Le revirement esthétique et politique de Mauclair reflète les tendances de “retour à l'ordre,” qui se renforçaient dans la culture française depuis la fin du dix-neuvième siècle et atteignirent leur sommet durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale. La propagation de ces tendances était due, en grande partie, à l'influence que la réflexion esthétique et idéologique de Charles Maurras exerçait dans les milieux intellectuels.