Artists, Intellectuals, and World War II

Artists, Intellectuals, and World War II

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Sixty years ago, at the height of World War II, an extraordinary series of gatherings took place at Mount Holyoke College in western Massachusetts. During the summers of 1942-1944, leading Europeangures in the arts and sciences met at the college with their American counterparts for urgent conversations about the future of human civilization in a precarious world. Two Sorbonne professors, the distinguished medievalist Gustave Cohen and the existentialist philosopher Jean Wahl, organized these qPontignyq sessions, named after an abbey in Burgundy where similar symposia had been held in the decades before the war. Among the participants--many of whom were Jewish or had Jewish backgrounds--were the philosophers Hannah Arendt and Rachel Bespaloff, the poets Marianne Moore and Wallace Stevens, the anthropologist Claude LAcvi-Strauss and the linguist Roman Jakobson, and the painters Marc Chagall and Robert Motherwell. In this collection of original essays, Stanley Cavell and Jacques Derrida lead an international group of scholars--including Jed Perl, Mary Ann Caws, Jeffrey Mehlman, and Elisabeth Young-Bruehl--in assessing the lasting impact and contemporary signicance of Pontigny-en- AmAcrique. Rachel Bespaloff, a tragicgure who wrote a major work on the Iliad, is restored to her rightful place beside Arendt and Simone Weil. Anyone interested in the qintellectual resistanceq of Francophone intellectuals and artists, and the inspiring support from such Americangures as Stevens and Moore, will want to read this pioneering work of scholarship and historical re-creation.During the fraught early months of the war, two young French writers of Jewish background, Simone Weil and Rachel ... During the winter of 1940, Weil published in the Marseilles-based journal Cahiers du Sud her famous essay aquot;La#39; Iliade, ou, anbsp;...

Title:Artists, Intellectuals, and World War II
Author: Christopher E. G. Benfey, Karen Remmler
Publisher:Univ of Massachusetts Press - 2006

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