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(French, unanimisme), a school in French literature. Unanimism arose in the first decade of the 20th century and included among its adherents J. Romains, G. Duhamel, R. Arcos, G. Chennevière, C. Vildrac, and L. Durtain. Romains, who wrote the manifesto Unanimist Feelings and Poetry (1905), was the leader of the school.
Having declared their opposition to symbolism, the unanimists strove for simplicity of style and for truthful depiction of reality. They sympathized with the poor and advocated the unity of peoples and the merging of man with nature. The unanimists’ desire to restore concreteness and lyric spontaneity to poetry drew them to free verse. They were, however, prevented from embracing realism by the eclecticism of their views, their abstract humanism, and their mystical cult of the “unanimity” of all human groups, irrespective of class or economic condition.
The philosophical foundation of unanimism comprised the sociology of E. Durkheim, the philosophical principles of H. Bergson and some tenets of American pragmatism. The social and humanistic poetry of W. Whitman and E. Verhaeren served as literary models for unanimism. The school was closely associated with the artistic group l’Abbaye.
As pacifists, the unanimists condemned World War I. Their paths later diverged. Although the basic ideas of the unanimists were idealistic and contradictory, at the time of its emergence the school represented a positive influence on the development of French literature.
REFERENCESIstoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 3. Moscow, 1959. Chapter 17.
Cuisenier, A. Jules Romains: L’Unanimisme et les hommes de bonne volonté. Paris, 1969.
Minot, P., T. Maulnier, and R. Mallet. Hommage à la mémoire de J. Romains. Paris, 1973.
M. A. GOL’DMAN