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Georges Bernanos

Bernanos, Georges (zhôrzh bĕrnänōsˈ) [key], 1888–1948, French novelist and polemicist. Profoundly Catholic, Bernanos attacked modern materialism and advocated a moral and ethical order based on the teachings of the Church. His novels The Star of Satan (1926, tr. 1940) and The Diary of a Country Priest (1936, tr. 1937) are powerful accounts of intense spiritual struggle and reflect his mysticism. Dialogue des Carmelites (1949) was adapted for the stage in 1952. A believer in monarchy, Bernanos was active in Royalist causes until the Spanish civil war. In 1938, after the Munich pact, which he considered a shameful instance of appeasement, he settled in Brazil and remained there until 1945. His political writings include Les Grands Cimetières sous la lune (1938, tr. A Diary of My Times, 1938), indicting Franco's policies in the Spanish civil war, and Lettre aux Anglais (1942, tr. Plea for Liberty, 1944).

See studies by T. S. Molnar (1960), G. R. Blumenthal (1965), P. Hebblewaite (1965), W. S. Bush (1969), and R. Speaight (1974).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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