Le crépuscule d’un dieu : pourquoi le naturalisme n’a-t-il pas pu durer ?



Abstrakt

The second half of the 19th century was a period of great transformations: science and painting entered the novel, the novel itself evolved to the point of breaking up, authors were looking for new forms of expressions. The representatives of naturalism took the novel away from its traditional role. After all, naturalism marked the novels’ death, but it was in the novel that this movement was obliged to realize its objectives. Naturalists assigned a new target to the novel, which was no longer aesthetic, but scientific. The novel was not a simple fictive story, but aimed at becoming a serious study. The novelists’ purpose was to “dissect” their characters, their passions and emotions, based on profound determinism. Zola wanted to make an “exact and meticulous copy of life”; Huysmans intended to “dissect love” and presented himself as a “beast exhibitor”; Goncourt chose a model based on history. Zola was most involved in his scientific theories, wishing to follow Claude Bernard to the point of replacing, in his book, the word “doctor” by the word “novelist,” in order to obtain a model of literary creation. Zola seemed convinced that objectivity is possible in this type of work, but his experiments took place in an imaginary world. He did not realize his program entirely though, and remained relatively faithful to the traditional rules of novel writing. He proclaimed his hunger for a revival in literature and he moved away from the naturalist principles. Other writers, like Huysmans or the signatories of the famous “Manifest of the Five,” criticized the naturalist errors and insufficiencies. This kind of criticism was heard everywhere: henceforth, it was clear that naturalism was soon to be replaced by something else. The interest in the Russian novel and Wagner’s music can be listed among the signs of this renewal. They suggest a profound need for another, irrational way of thinking. Music and painting contributed to the transformation of the novel, too, and witnessed a need for an opening, experienced by naturalists. One may conclude that degeneration of this movement was slow and progressive, and partially resulted from the principles of the movement itself.


Key words: Science, roman, modification, art.


Becker, Colette, 1993 : Lire le réalisme et le naturalisme. Paris, Dunod.

Bonnetain, Paul, Rosny, J.H., DescaVes, Lucien, MarGueritte, Paul, Guiches, Gustave, 1887 : « La Terre ». Le Figaro, le 18 août.

Brunetière, Ferdinand, 1883 : Le roman naturaliste. Paris, C. Lévy.

Céard, Henry, 1881 : Une belle journée. Paris, Charpentier.

Colin, René-Pierre, 1988 : Zola, Rénégats et alliés. La République naturaliste. Lyon, Presses Universitaires de Lyon.

Desprez, Louis, 1881 : L’évolution naturaliste. Paris, Tresse.

Goncourt, Edmond de, 1980 : Chérie. Préface de la première édition. In : Goncourt E. et J. de : Préfaces et manifestes littéraires. Paris—Genève, Ressources.

Goncourt, Edmond et Jules de, 1990 : Germinie Lacerteux. Paris, Flammarion.

Goncourt, Edmond et Jules de, 1989 : Journal. Mémoires de la vie littéraire. Paris, Robert Laffont, coll. Bouquins.

HaMon, Philippe, 1983 : Le personnel du roman : Le système des personnages dans les “RougonMacquart” d’Émile Zola. Genève, Droz.

Huret, Jules, 1891 : Enquête sur l’évolution littéraire. Paris, Charpentier.

Huysmans, Joris-Karl, 1991 : « Émile Zola et L’Assommoir ». In : idem : En marge. Paris, Éd. du Griot.

Huysmans, Joris-Karl, 1997 : Lettres inédites à Arij Prins. Genève, Droz.

Huysmans, Joris-Karl, 1999a : Là-Bas. Paris, Gallimard.

Huysmans, Joris-Karl, 1999b : « Préface écrite vingt ans après le roman ». In : idem : À rebours. Paris, Gallimard.

Maupassant, Guy de, 1888 : « Le Roman ». In : idem : Pierre et Jean. Paris, Paul Ollendorf.

Raimond, Michel, 1966 : La crise du roman. Des lendemains du naturalisme aux années vingt. Paris, José Corti.

Zola, Emile, 1881 : Le Roman expérimental. Paris, Charpentier.

Zola, Emile, 1906 : Thérèse Raquin. Paris, Charpentier.


Sadkowska-Fidala, A. (1). Le crépuscule d’un dieu : pourquoi le naturalisme n’a-t-il pas pu durer ?. Romanica Silesiana, 7(1). Pobrano z https://www.journals.us.edu.pl/index.php/RS/article/view/5822

Agata Sadkowska-Fidala  agata.sadkowska-fidala@uwr.edu.pl