Winter 1945 • Vol. VII No. 1 NonfictionJanuary 1, 1945 |

French Reaction in Exile

I think it will interest American readers to acquaint themselves with the latest and most peculiar phase of French literary reaction, which appears also as a bold manifestation of avant-garde thought. In La Communion des Forts, a book of essays published in Mexico City, Roger Caillois, the editor of Lettres Françaises and one of the outstanding younger French writers, proposes to intellectuals that instead of attacking society individually they band together as a communion of the strong to form a new society within the old and by force of their moral ideals impose an authority of the spirit on the chaotic, unspiritual masses. He conceives the action of this elite on the model of the Jesuit company and the glamorous Treize of Balzac, who rule France as a secret brotherhood of noble outlaw-adventurers, nowhere visible, but everywhere effective through their ramified connections. For this great task certain qualities are indispensable: strict honesty, the will to power, disdain an

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece

Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.

Read More


Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.


With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.