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Unlikely CollaborationGertrude Stein, Bernard Faÿ, and the Vichy Dilemma$
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Barbara Will

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231152631

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231152631.001.0001

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Endings and Beginnings (1918–1930)

Endings and Beginnings (1918–1930)

(p.3) Chapter One Endings and Beginnings (1918–1930)
Unlikely Collaboration

Barbara Will

Columbia University Press

This introductory chapter discusses the beginnings of the friendship between two intellectuals, Gertrude Stein and Bernard Faÿ, which served as the context for reconciling Stein's “progressive” experimental writing and her later “reactionary” politics. Both Stein and Faÿ would find that they had many things in common, yet perhaps the most profound—if not the most troubling—aspect of this friendship was their mutual admiration of Philippe Pétain, whose politics seemed counter to Stein's progressive, avant-garde aesthetics and beliefs. Further complicating the issue wasthe troubled backdrop of the interwar years—wherein the political upheavals following the First World War had given way to jadedness for the current political systems, as well as the formation of new hybrid political movements—with an uneasy Europe struggling to come to terms with the United States' siren's call for “modernization.”

Keywords:   experimental writing, reactionary politics, Europe, First World War, Philippe Pétain, avant-garde, modernization, Gertrude Stein, Bernard Faÿ

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