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Science Bourgeoise et Science Prolétarienne: French Literary Responses to the Lysenko Affair

Lyle, Louise 2008. Science Bourgeoise et Science Prolétarienne: French Literary Responses to the Lysenko Affair. New Readings 9 , pp. 1-8. 10.18573/newreadings.61

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This article analyses the attitudes of three major French authors of the mid twentieth century with respect to the evolutionary theories of the notorious Soviet agronomist, Trofim Denisovich Lysenko. In spite of a lack of any real scientific credibility, Lysenko’s ideas found favour during Stalin’s reign of power and were briefly influential in French communist circles following the Lysenko affair of 1948 in the USSR. In this piece, the attitudes towards Lysenkoism expressed in selected works of Louis Aragon, Albert Camus and Vercors are evaluated as an indicator of the authors’ respective attitudes towards Stalinism and French communism, while the extent to which the views expressed are characteristic of French modes of evolutionary thought is also considered. This article therefore aims to show that the authors’ engagement with Lysenkoism is revealing not only in respect of the moral and intellectual struggles facing the French left during the early Cold War period, but also has much to tell us about the characteristically French preconceptions concerning evolutionism that made such conflicts possible.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Modern Languages
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D839 Post-war History, 1945 on
D History General and Old World > DC France
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0441 Literary History
P Language and Literature > PQ Romance literatures
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Publisher: Cardiff University Press
ISSN: 1359-7485
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 17 January 2020
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2020 12:42

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