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May 68 in French Fiction and FilmRethinking Society, Rethinking Representation$
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Margaret Atack

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198715153

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198715153.001.0001

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Introduction L’imaginaire de mai

Introduction L’imaginaire de mai

(p.x) (p.1) Introduction L’imaginaire de mai
May 68 in French Fiction and Film

Margaret Atack

Oxford University Press

The month of May in the year 1968 was truly an exceptional episode in French history thanks to the violence of street battles with the police, the level of popular support for the protesters, the size of the demonstrations, the millions on strike, and the endless discussion all around. It felt like a revolution, with the old order being torn apart and notions of spontaneity and immediacy being connoted all around. May was an object of historical knowledge before it even began to be over, with articles for the newspaper Combat turned into a tract and pinned on trees; while subversive journals and large amounts of newsprint were being devoted to the events. Contemporary newsreels shadowed the story of May from university crisis to national crisis as the May riots and strikes gained progressively in prominence. May is a monstrous library, as well as an unsolvable puzzle, or so it seems. May was the crossroads through which history, social change, social and political theorizations of the individual and society, have all passed.

Keywords:   May 1968, French history, violence, street battles, demonstrations, Combat

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