Les Trois Romans expérimentaux d’Émile Zola: Lourdes, Rome, et Paris

The ideas developed by Émile Zola in the Experimental Novel (Le Roman expérimental), published in 1880, were not fully put into effect until he wrote a trilogy of novels entitled the Three Cities (Lourdes, Rome, and Paris, published between 1894 and 1898). Written against the backdrop of a heated struggle between science and religion, these novels are clearly structured as a triple scientific experiment with a hypothesis, independent and dependent variables, a procedure, a result and a conclusion, while aiming to prove that Catholicism has become an outdated and hence nefarious theory. By applying Claude Bernard’s experimental method to these novels, Zola lays the foundations for a new paradigm of thought which he fully discloses in his last work, The Four Gospels: a literary prophecy that recasts the principles of the New Testament in order to develop a cognitive tool for conceptualizing the happiness of mankind. (In French) (kac-g)

Cook-Gailloud, Kristin
Volume 2010-11 Fall-Winter; 39(1-2): 131-153