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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(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.


Istoriia 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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Drama of the Group: A Study of Unanimism in the Plays of Jules Romains.
Lopez argues that Andrade accepted concepts from Positivism, Unanimism, and Marxism, which he incorporated in his Catholic faith.
The mobilizing effort of the revolution, the massive and indiscriminate measures of its repression, and the authoritarian military state that issued from it, all powerfully combined in the sublimation of Algerian society--an enormously varied, diverse, culturally heterogeneous society--in an inflexible ideological unanimism, the denial or suppression of individualities, particularisms, divergences, and dissidence, and, of course, in the disenfranchisement of the people from the (self-)government supposedly constituted by and for them in the achievement of independence: (18)
In a recent discussion of unanimism, Kwame Appiah highlights precisely this point when he remarks: "Africans share too many problems and projects to be distracted by a bogus basis for solidarity" (Appiah 1992, 26).
Whitworth argues that Woolf found meaning in the French doctrine of unanimism, which offered a language to describe "group consciousness"--that is, a conflict-free collective social identity not prescribed by the rules of religion, nation, or family.
experience--a real living, possible emotion" ("Unanimism"
Hountondji, the Beninoise philosopher, has also debunked what he termed "the myth of unanimism" in relation to the question of African identities.
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It is thus manifested in the diversity of readings of revelation, marked by cultures, experiences, histories, insofar as these contextualizations do not contradict or omit any of the essential elements of the apostolic faith.(10) The common faithfulness to the one and indivisible faith welds these readings together in koinonia which is enriched by their diversity, without any illusion of a purely theoretical "unanimism".