Decadence and regeneration in Drieu la Rochelle´s oeuvre

Aleš Vrbata, António José Maria Codina Bobia


Belonging to the generation of French writers of what is usually labeled as "literary fascism", Drieu in his literary work epitomizes close alliance of the political and the literary. Moreover, acting as journalist (and general editor) in Nouvelle Revue Française, linked with Jacques Doriot's party PPF (Parti populaire française) and promoting his ideas of "New Europe" and "New Man" Drieu epitomizes typically fascist/modernist union of politics and arts. Living in profoundly ideologized times, experiencing two world wars, being French and believing in decadence of his nation it was almost impossible for him not to join some of warring sides. The paper looks at Drieu in the context of his "lost generation", as Barrès' disciple and as one of many offshots of generally and long-time accepted idea od decadence. Drieu´s emphasis on warlike virtues, virile masculinity, activist attitudes, instinctual and biological aspect of human existence derives not just from his personal psychological condition, but also from his personal experience in the Great War. His oeuvre can be viewed as an extension of the 19th-century dark romanticism and fin-de-siècle's malaise, something one can find in his literary characters. Putting himself to the centre of the triangle of three other writers of his generation (Montherlant, Malraux, Céline) Drieu represents just one of many voices revealing dark side of man and his "noble" ideals.


Drieu La Rochelle. Decadência. Relação corpo-mente. "Homem novo". Fascismo.

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