Chaos and Classicism: Art in France, Italy, and Germany, 1918–1936

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Due to the redesign of, past exhibitions prior to 2008 are archived externally; visiting these pages will open a new window.


The following are some suggestions of books and films related to Chaos & Classicism. While this list is not comprehensive, it enumerates works that can serve as jumping-off points for further inquiry.


Céline, Louis-Ferdinand. Voyage au bout de la Nuit. Paris: Denoël et Steele, 1932. Published in English as Journey to the End of the Night.

Cendrars, Blaise. La main coupée. Paris: Editions Denoël, 1946. Published in English as The Severed Hand.

Döblin, Alfred. Berlin Alexanderplatz. Die Geschichte vom Franz Biberkopf. Berlin: Fischer, 1929. Published in English as Berlin Alexanderplatz or Berlin Alexanderplatz: The Story of Franz Biberkopf.

Martin du Gard, Roger. Les Thibaults. Originally published in eight parts: Le cahier gris (1922), Le pénitencier (1922), La belle saison (1923), La consultation (1928), La sorellina (1928), La mort du père (1929), L’été 1914 (1936), and Epilogue (1940). Paris: Gallimard(?), 1922–40. Published in English as The World of the Thibaults or The Thibaults and Summer 1914.

Mann, Thomas. Der Zauberberg. Frankfurt am Main: S. Fischer Verlag, 1924. Published in English as The Magic Mountain.

Moravia, Alberto. Il conformista. Milan: Valentino Bompiani, 1951. Published in English as The Conformist.

———. Gli indifferenti. Milan: Bompiani, 1929.

Musil, Robert. Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften. Vols. 1–2. Berlin: Rowohlt, 1930–32. Published in English as The Man without Qualities.

Remarque, Erich Maria. All Quiet on the Western Front. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1929.

Ungaretti, Giuseppe. L’allegria dei naufragi. 1919. Published in English as Giuseppe Ungaretti: Selected Poems.

Additional books by Hans Fallada, Egon Kisch, and Lion Feuchtwanger might also be of interest.


Braun, Emily. Mario Sironi and Italian Modernism: Art and Politics under Fascism. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

Crockett, Dennis. German Post-Expressionism: The Art of the Great Disorder, 1918–1924. University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999.

Silver, Kenneth E. Esprit de Corps: The Art of the Parisian Avant-Garde and the First World War, 1924–1925. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1989.


All Quiet on the Western Front (1930). Directed by Lewis Milestone.

Belle Epoque: The Age of Beauty (1992). Directed by Fernando Trueba.

Berlin-Alexanderplatz. Die Geschichte Franz Biberkopfs (1931). Directed by Phil Jutzi.

Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980, release date 1983). Rainer Werner Fassbinder. (TV mini-series)

Blood of a Poet (Le sang d’un poète, 1930). Written and directed by Jean Cocteau.

The Conformist (Il conformista, 1970, released in the U.S. in 1971). Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci.

La main coupée (1979). Directed by Jean Kerchbron.

Metropolis (1927). Directed by Fritz Lang.

Olympia (1936–38). Directed by Leni Riefenstahl.

Scipio Africanus: The Defeat of Hannibal (Scipione l’africano, 1937). Directed by Carmine Gallone.

Les Thibaults (1972). Directed by Alain Boudet and André  Michel. (TV mini-series)

Les Thibaults (2003). Directed by Jean-Daniel Verhaeghe. (TV mini-series)

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