'Spanish' Theatre in Occupied France, 1940-1944

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This article examines the impact of Spanish exiles on French culture from the outbreak of the Second World War, focusing especially on the influence of Spanish writers, themes, and landscapes in the theatre performed in France during the German Occupation, from 1940 to 1944. It will be argued that Spanish exoticism and themes from seventeenth-century Spanish plays such as grandeur, love, honour, and duty were ideal material for boosting audiences who were suffering from the deprivations of war. Additionally, such plays were far enough removed from the contemporary situation not to raise eyebrows with the German censorship bodies. Some famous examples of artists with close ties to Spain, such as Casares and Camus, are discussed for their contributions to this trend, as are a few playwrights, such as Montherlant and Claudel, who privileged Spanish themes in their works premiered during this period. It will be seen that French theatre was hugely affected by its Iberian neighbours - as its intellectuals had been by the Spanish Civil War, and that the fashion for 'Spanish' theatre in Paris was to increase dramatically in the post-war years.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-60
Number of pages13
JournalRomance Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • France
  • Spanish theatre
  • World War II
  • Casares
  • Camus


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