Political Science / France / French Politics / Literature / Writing


What's Left?
The Ecole Normale Supérieure and the Right
Diane Rubenstein

A political history of writing in France during the interwar period and under the Occupation. Rubinstein argues that the prevalent leftist depiction of the ENS–the training ground par excellence of the French intellectual–is symptomatically inaccurate in its repression of the role of writing in the construction of the political subject. Through a deconstructive reading of the ENS as text, Rubinstein resituates the ENS's intellectual discourse within the literary politics of the right. Normalien discourse is seen to articulate analogous concepts of superiority, hierarchy, and exclusion. This twinning of principles of political and textual authority is developed through analyses of publishing networks of the thirties and the post-war trial sentencing of intellectuals.

Diane Rubenstein was assistant professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Spring 1991
256 pp.
ISBN-10: 0-299-12564-5
ISBN-13: 978-0-299-12564-6 Paper $19.95 s
(cloth edition is out of print)

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