Fuir l’exotisme: l’“aventure nostalgique” du merveilleux-scientifique français


Novels belonging to the “merveilleux-scientifique”—a category that Maurice Renard applied to Wells’ heirs in French literature—turn exotic journeys to outer space into “nostalgic adventures,” in which heroes, portrayed as victims, are abducted by unknown forces and baffled by whatever they find, far from home. While characters fight for survival in hostile environments such as Mars, Mercury, and the planet’s upper atmosphere, and against vile and murderous creatures embodying the Other in its most repellant aspects, novels by Maurice Renard, Jean de La Hire, or Gustave Le Rouge provide the reader with a sense of adventure laced with anguish at the prospect of what lies in the unknown reaches of the universe: dangerous wonders humbling both scientists and would-be conquerors. (In French)

Simon Bréan
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