UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

L'idee de l'Europe Nicol, Eric

Abstract

In this year of 1948 we see for the first time the economic and political union of several nations of Western Europe. Doubtless they have united in the face of a common danger: communism; but many men of good will hope that this union inspired by fear will survive that fear and become the germ of a true world society. One of these nations, France, has already contributed freely to this idea, the idea of a united Europe. Many of her most eminent contemporary writers have dedicated a considerable portion of the work, a great deal of their thought, to this problem. These French intellectuals of the 1920's and 1930's proposed a variety of ways of accomplishing this vital synthesis, all of their discussions reflecting the new and keen awareness that European civilization has suddenly become extremely mortal. A surprising number of French writers not only realized, well before Munich, that the League of Nations was a house of cards, but sought the catalyst that would permit the nations of Europe, at once the glory and the curse of the world, to fuse otherwise than in the furnace of war. It is the purpose of this thesis to note the views of this subject of several brilliant minds, especially those of Valery, Benda, Larbaud, Durtain and Giraudoux. The examination will be necessarily superficial, but, it is hoped, complete enough to indicate the diversity of opinion and, more important, the unanimity of a very lively concern.

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