Federica D'Ascenzo

From the ‘Defantasized’ Fantastic to the Interior Monologue: The Reasons for a Failure

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Édouard Dujardin, ‘defantasized’ fantastic, normal and pathological, subjectivity, interior monologue.

The collection of tales Les Hantises, published by Édouard Dujardin in 1886, is part of the ‘defantastization’ of fantasy that pervaded the French literature fin de siècle, which is particularly sensitive to the medical discoveries made in the field of neurology and the study of mental disorders. The tales present a panoply of psychopathological cases in which Dujardin endeavours to illustrate the monomania of each character as a potential state of every individual and to demonstrate a certain continuity between the normal and the pathological. If the tales become the instrument of exploration of an apparently sickly psyche, they allow the author to attempt various narrative processes to explore the world of subjectivity and open the way to a new novel that has to reconcile the different literary trends of the time. The technique of the interior monologue that Dujardin illustrates in Les Lauriers sont coupés derives from this attempt to normalise the psychological pathology associated with the desire for subjective restitution of the perception of reality. But the rejection of this same technique from its own inventor reveals a poor taking into consideration, both thematically and narratively, of the banality on which the novel is based.

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