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The Useless Mouths and Other Literary Writings$
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Simone de Beauvoir, Margaret A. Simons, and Marybeth Timmermann

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036347

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036347.001.0001

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New Heroes for Old

New Heroes for Old

(p.113) New Heroes for Old
The Useless Mouths and Other Literary Writings

Simone de Beauvoir

Margaret Simons

University of Illinois Press

Today in France they frequently say that the novel is dying, that the novel is dead. That is one of the leitmotivs of postwar criticism. Nevertheless, if you loiter by the bookshop windows, or prowl among the editors’ offices, you cannot help being struck by the great number of books and manuscripts that flaunt the label “novel.” Nor are they dead works, for many of them are received by the public with enthusiasm. The critics cannot ignore this fact, but they nevertheless shake their heads and mutter, “These are not true novels. The novel is dead.” You might be tempted to regard this argument as a mere quibble; but even quibbles have some meaning, and the meaning of this one is clear: the modern French novel has so far departed from tradition that for those souls who respect outmoded forms it no longer deserves the name....

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