Une évasion paradoxale: le fantastique de John-Antoine Nau


Force ennemie, a novel by John-Antoine Nau published in 1903, was the first recipient of the Prix Goncourt. The story’s main character, Philippe Veuly, wakes up one morning to discover that he is in an unfamiliar bedroom. He then learns that, in fact, he has been in an asylum for two weeks, but he doesn’t know why. Gradually, he feels inhabited by a strange force beyond his control: a force that appears to be an extraterrestrial who has taken refuge in him. Veuly escapes from the asylum and looks for a woman with whom he fell in love, all the while still carrying the creature. Is it really an alien force? Or is Veuly’s mind deeply disturbed? Nau’s novel occupies an uncertain and evocative state, at once a work of science fiction, a tale of the fantastic, a psychological investigation, and a sociological commentary. (In French)

Jean-François Chassay
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