According to Softwareleverage, the traditional novel, which still follows the thread of a chronological narrative and the tested conventions of “intrigue”, albeit already with a different awareness of linguistic tools, of objective representation, and of the literary “function” itself, have also addressed numerous writers of the post-war generation, and of recent years, without however reaching original results, or of “renewal in tradition”, if anything with an illusory out-of-time revival of fashions or schools, distant and recent, changed or overcome. And, first of all, the insistence of a “naturalist” trend, which is combined with the suggestions of a committed literature (Sartre, Camus), and of declared and biased social criticism must be noted: this is the case, for example. by R. Vailland (1907-1965; v. in this App.), which however had its fluctuations, and by R. Merle (born in 1908); by A. Lanoux (born 1913), whose novel Quand la mer se retire (1963) wins the Prix Goncourt; by M. Druon (born in 1918), who after the enormous success of Les grandes familles (1948; Prix Goncourt), not only continued in this direction, up to the short stories Le Bonheur des uns (1967), but also attempted the novel and historical re-enactment in works of great commitment (Les Rois maudits, 1955-66; Les Mémoires de Zeus, 1967), and was elected in 1966 to the Académie française; by H. Bazin (born 1911), who continued to dig his investigation into post-war family and society with satirical virulence (Au nom du fils, 1960; Chapeau bas, 1963; Le Matrimoine, 1967; Cri de la chouette, 1972); and again by R. Rembauville, by G. Sigaux, by C. Roy, by G.-E. Clancier (who is also a critic and poet), by B. Clavel. Nor should the novels that have continued to publish an Aragon (see in this App), whose work intersects with that by E. Triolet (died in 1970; see App. III, 11, p. 984), of which we remember the cycle L’âge du nylon (1959-63), and Le grand jamais (1965), Le rossignol se tait to the aube (1970); and a Vercors (see App. III, 11, p. 1080), which again gave Sylva (1961), Zoo ou assassin philanthrope (1963), theatrical adaptation of his Animaux dénaturés, the memories of La bataille du silence (1967).
In some respects the documentary and sociological testimonies on war, on the extermination camps (Le dernier des justes, 1959, by A. Schwarz-Bart), on contemporary civilization (C. Rochefort, Les petits enfants du siècle, 1960) and on the most modern costumes, a theme that has always been taken up and deepened in the work of S. de Beauvoir (see App. III, 1, p. 213), who still published Les belles images (1965) and La femme rompue (1967), in addition to the continuation of his autobiographical investigation: La force de l’âge (1960), La force des choses (1963), Une mort très douce (1964), La vieillesse (1970), Tout compte fait (1972). On the other hand, a historical or even archaeological novel is spoken not only of M. Druon, but of M. Yourcenar (born in 1903; see in this App.), Of W. de Spens (born in 1911), of J. Roy (born in 1907 in Algeria), who after a long career as a novelist and essayist has given a cyclical novel since 1968, Les chevaux du soleil (6 vols. Until 1975), while under the label of “ease” are usually grouped together some novelists who, in the unscrupulousness of situations and language, in irony and cynicism, have not only reacted to engagement immediately after the war, but also expressed, at times with dramatic awareness, more often with disenchanted, and deliberate, detachment – if not superficially – the anguish of our time: and we mention not so much the “case” France Sagan (born in 1935), which he has not obtained in recent years, with other novels (Les merveilleux nuages, 1961; La Chamade, 1964; Le garde du c øur, 1968; Des bleus à l’âme, 1972 Le lit défait, 1977), and other plays (La robe mauve de Valentine, 1963), the resounding success of the 1950s (Bonjour, tristesse, 1954; Un certain sourire, 1956; etc.), but by a group of writers, also called “néo-classiques”, such as R. Nimier (1925-1962; see in this App.), A. Blondin (born in 1922), B. Pingaud (born in 1923), M. Déon (born in 1919), France Nourissier (born in 1927), whose novels of the latter period (Un petit bourgeois, 1964; Une histoire française, 1966, awarded by the Académie française; La Crève, 1970, Fémina prize; L’Allemande, 1973), have received notable awards. Another “case” in this sector is that of C. Saint-Laurent (pseud. Of J. Laurent, born in 1919) who after having given a whole series of popular novels (Caroline Chérie), and libels against existentialism, has published well-made, traditional and right-wing novels (Les bêtises, 1971).
To this survival, not always passive and flat, of traditional themes and formulas, already in the immediate post-war years corresponds a consistent innovative drive, which tends not only or not so much to transform those schemes, but to overturn them, to deny them, up to to attempt an “a-novel” or “anti-novel”, and in any case a new narrative experiment, which goes beyond the very concept of the novel genre to reconnect with the great debate on literature, on structures, on language mentioned in the Start. The phenomenon should not be limited to the “nouveau roman” (see App. III, 1, pp. 682-83), a very vague “school” to which writers with different personalities are usually ascribed, but it includes many other “experiences”, essentially based on a whole range.