Un autre regard sur le monde. Poétique et géopolitique de l'espace dans les grands reportages et les romans de Gaston Leroux (1897-1924)

Authors: Commère, Zoé
Advisor: Bara, Olivier; Pinson, Guillaume
Abstract: As a reporter, Gaston Leroux (1868-1927) covered many trials as well as the international news for Le Matin. He then went on to write paraliterary novels, published as serials in the press. Both his career and his works are heavily influenced by the media, which served as his main publication outlet, as a writing laboratory and as a source of inspiration (the fictional reporter he created, Rouletabille, has become a symbol of this developing profession). Through this monographic and interdisciplinary study (mixing history, geography, literary sociology, philosophy, as well as geocriticism and sociocriticism), we will focus on the media culture, as it was discovered anew during the massive digitization of the press in the 2000s. However, both sides of his work are connected by the attention he gives attention to space as a problematic: his newspaper articles as well as his novels offer complex representations of far away places. Because of this strong genre hybridity, space in Leroux's novels is deeply connected to the news, which adds an important sense of referentiality, but it is also influenced by fictional genres such as fairy tales, fantastical works, gothic novels, detective novels and even melodrama. Through a body of works encompassing both his main newspaper stories (in Russia, in Italy, in Marocco, etc.) and those of his adventure novels which take place in foreign countries (Rouletabille chez le Tsar, Les Ténébreuses, Rouletabille à la guerre, La Reine du Sabbat...), we shall study the various strategies implemented to represent space as an important concern in the narrative. Indeed, for Leroux, space is not only an exotic background to be quickly forgotten in favor of action. It also has a political role during agitated times (the colonisation, the First World War, the Russian Revolution, etc.). Superficially, Leroux's works fit in with the social representations of his time: they oppose weakening empires, which serve as playgrounds to heroes who have mastered them better than their own rulers, to the model of the nation-state, exemplified by the French Third Republic. The body of works becomes more chauvinistic during and after the First World War. At this time, Leroux's novels are in line with the anti-German propaganda (Rouletabille chez Krupp, Le Capitaine Hyx). And yet, within this referential and quite Manichean space, he creates, through fiction, different places in which a contestation of the dominant model is expressed. For instance, utopian islands and carnivalesque heterotopias allow Leroux to introduce playfulness in an apparently conventional conception of space, to question globalization as it develops and to offer alternative forms of spatial and geopolitical organisation.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2020
Open Access Date: 9 March 2020
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/38227
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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