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Saints and lovers: myths of the avant-garde in Michel Georges-Michel's Les Montparnos

Shingler, Katherine

Authors

Katherine Shingler katherine.shingler@nottingham.ac.uk



Abstract

This article examines Michel Georges-Michel’s 1924 novel Les Montparnos as a study of the myths circulating around the Montparnasse avant-garde of the 1920s, and their function in relation to art. Key amongst these myths is the idea of art as a religion, according to which avant-garde artists are conceived as secular saints and martyrs. While this notion of artist as saint is strongly present in early-twentieth-century biographies of Van Gogh, Georges-Michel explicitly relates his fictionalized version of Modigliani’s life not to such recent models but rather to the Renaissance masters, and especially to Raphael, a link which is explained in terms of the post-war ‘retour à l’ordre’ in French artistic culture. The novel’s references to Raphael as archetypal painter-lover are also related to its construction of a myth of the artist as virile and sexually prolific, and to its identification of creative and sexual impulses.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Feb 1, 2012
Journal French Cultural Studies
Print ISSN 0957-1558
Electronic ISSN 1740-2352
Publisher SAGE Publications (UK and US)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 23
Issue 1
Institution Citation Shingler, K. (2012). Saints and lovers: myths of the avant-garde in Michel Georges-Michel's Les Montparnos. French Cultural Studies, 23(1), doi:10.1177/0957155811427631
DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/0957155811427631
Keywords avant-garde, Bohemia, Michel Georges-Michel, Amedeo Modigliani, Montparnasse, myth, Raphael, retour à l’ordre
Publisher URL http://frc.sagepub.com/content/23/1/17
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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