Le problème du chef dans le theatre de Jules Romains

Clark, Kathleen Nora (1972) Le problème du chef dans le theatre de Jules Romains. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

The name of Jules Romains has long been associated by literary critics with his doctrine of unanimism. This emphasis on unanimism has falsified our appreciation of Romains, to the extent that a very important theme in his work has been almost totally ignored: the problem of the leader. -- In dealing with this problem, we could not ignore the life of Romains himself, for it is fertile in incidents and activities which reveal a fascination with authority, leadership, and the manipulation of others. On occasions, he played the leader himself, both politically and intellectually. In dealing with the life of Romains, we have adopted a critical attitude, which has been lacking so far in the biographies devoted to Romains. Romains' political actions and attitudes in the ten years leading up to World War II, in particular his friendliness toward Nazi Germany, merit a whole chapter, for this period of his life has been considerably glossed over by his biographers. -- It is in his plays that Romains gives the most explicit literary treatment to the problem of the leader. He presents various types: real leaders and pseudo-leaders, impostors and mere figure-heads. He also portrays the manipulators, who wield power behind the scenes. Some of these act as "éminences grises". Romains' leader figures suggest many comparisons with the two powerful dictators of that era: Hitler and Mussolini. In view of Romains' attitudes toward Nazism and Fascism, we have drawn attention to the antecedents in his plays. -- Aside from his plays, there are other works that reveal Romains' attitudes to leaders, both historical and contemporary. His essays, and especially his biographical works, have their place in our study, for they reveal Romains' continuing fascination with the mechanisms of power.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7268
Item ID: 7268
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 123-129. -- Abstract in English only.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > French and Spanish
Date: 1972
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Romains, Jules, 1885-1972

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