By Mark Antliff
Antliff considers 3 French fascists: Georges Valois, Philippe Lamour, and Thierry Maulnier, demonstrating how they appropriated the avant-garde aesthetics of cubism, futurism, surrealism, and the so-called Retour à l’Ordre (“Return to Order”), and, in a single example, even outlined the “dynamism” of fascist ideology when it comes to Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein’s conception of montage. For those fascists, glossy paintings used to be the mythic harbinger of a regenerative revolution that might overthrow current governmental associations, inaugurate an anticapitalist new order, and wake up the inventive and creative strength of the fascist “new man.”
In formulating the nexus of fascist ideology, aesthetics, and violence, Valois, Lamour, and Maulnier drew totally on the writings of the French political theorist Georges Sorel, whose inspiration of progressive fable proved valuable to fascist theories of cultural and nationwide regeneration in France. Antliff analyzes the influence of Sorel’s thought of delusion on Valois, Lamour, and Maulnier. Valois created the 1st fascist circulation in France; Lamour, a follower of Valois, demonstrated the short-lived Parti Fasciste Révolutionnaire in 1928 sooner than founding fascist-oriented journals; Maulnier solid a conception of fascism lower than the auspices of the journals Combat and Insurgé.
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Avant-Garde Fascism: The Mobilization of Myth, Art, and Culture in France, 1909–1939 by Mark Antliff