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To defer or not to defer...

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I'm currently scrambling to apply to programs in Comp Lit (focus in 19th/20th French Lit/Poetry, film studies, and philosophy of aesthetics). I am applying for TAPIF (Teaching Assistant Program in France) after undergrad. I am so burnt out I need a gap year, and it seems like the best thing to do after undergrad. My current dilemma is whether or not I should even apply and defer to grad programs. I might be tempted to just grab a masters in France anyway and maybe even wait a few years to attain EU citizenship from France. Given the current academic climate and the state of the world, I'm not too sure if it is worth even applying to graduate programs. I see no future in which I do not have a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, so I will certainly return after my time abroad to complete one. Is anyone else in a similar position (deciding between deferring or just skipping a cycle and applying then)? If so, what do my chances look like if I take a gap year (or a couple) and try to apply again? I'm worried about the logistics of obtaining recommendation letters and the like after some time away. 

P.S. I'm applying to UMich, Cornell, Princeton, UToronto, Northwestern, and UC Irvine for Comp Lit; I've started an app with Oxford (MSt in Comparative Literature and Critical Translation) and NYU Tisch for a masters in Film Theory. Given my interests, are there any schools I should absolutely apply for? I'm open to recommendations!

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