2017 Student Research Conference:
30th Annual Student Research Conference

Guy de Maupassant et le fantastique


Lucas J. Derry
Dr. Sana Camara, Faculty Mentor

The battle between science and the supernatural is the key focus of the French literary subgenre known as Le Fantastique.  This subgenre, which was defined by Tzvetan Torodov, exists only within a brief period of uncertain hesitation, during which the reader cannot know whether the supernatural actually exists within the narrative universe of a work of fiction or is explicable within that universe through scientific realities, such as hallucinations or hypnotism.

This paper seeks to outline Todorov’s theory of Le Fantastique and to show the application of this theory through an analysis of Le Horla by Guy de Maupassant.  This tale, involving an invisible creature who steals the life force from the untrustworthy, nearly mad narrator, serves as a near perfect example of Le Fantastique, purposefully eliciting uncertainty and hesitation between natural and supernatural conclusions. 

Keywords: Le Fantastique, Guy de Maupassant, Tzvetan Todorov, French Literature

Topic(s):French Capstone

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 305-2
Location: MG 2001
Time: 1:15

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