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Philosophers and Critics

Novelists and Dramatists


  • Atheism: Topic Page
    Nonbelief in, or the positive denial of, the existence of a God or gods.
  • Dada: Topic Page
    Artistic and literary movement founded in 1915 in a spirit of rebellion and disillusionment during World War I and lasting until about 1922.
  • Existentialism: Topic Page
    Any of several philosophic systems, all centered on the individual and his relationship to the universe or to God.
  • Modernism: Topic Page
    Modernism is based on a concern with form and the exploration of technique as opposed to content and narrative. In literature, writers experimented with alternatives to orthodox sequential storytelling.
  • Freudianism (Sigmund Freud, 1856 - 1939: Topic Page)
    Sigmund Freud was the founder of psychoanalysis and proved to be the most influential writer about the unconscious mind in the twentieth century.
  • May 1968
    From A Dictionary of Contemporary History - 1945 to the present
    Student disturbances in France in which workers became involved and which appeared to threaten the foundations of the Fifth Republic.
  • Postmodernism: Topic Page
    Term used to designate a multitude of trends—in the arts, philosophy, religion, technology, and many other areas—that come after and deviate from the many 20th-cent. movements that constituted modernism.
  • Surrealism: Topic Page
    Movement in art, literature, and film. Led by André Breton, who produced the Surrealist Manifesto (1924), the surrealists were inspired by the thoughts and visions of the subconscious mind.
  • The New Novel and Oulipo
    From The Edinburgh Encyclopaedia of Modern Criticism and Theory
    Experiments in Writing from Le Nouveau Roman to the Oulipo.
  • Structuralism
    This influential school of criticism grew out of the ideas of Ferdinand de Saussure as they appeared in his Course in General Linguistics (1915).



  • Guillaume Apollinaire (1880 - 1918)
    From The Columbia Encyclopedia
    French poet; a leader in the restless period of technical innovation and experimentation in the arts during the early 20th cent.
  • Jean Cocteau (1889 - 1963)
    From France and the Americas
    One of the most versatile, prolific authors of the twentieth century, Jean Cocteau elaborated a personal conception of total art, which he defined in terms of the overarching notion of “poetry”.
  • Paul Eluard (1895 - 1952)
    From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather guide
    French poet. He expressed the suffering of poverty in his verse, and was a leader of the surrealists.
  • Paul Valéry (1871 - 1945): Topic Page

    French poet and critic. A follower of the symbolists, Valéry was one of the greatest French poets of the 20th cent.
  • Tristan Tzara (1896 - 1963)
    From The Crystal Reference Encyclopedia
    French poet and essayist. He first emigrated to Zurich where, during World War 1, he became a founder of the Dada modern art movement.

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