Site de Benoît Melançon / Thèses canadiennes en littérature française du XVIIIe siècle

Brodeur, Pierre-Olivier, «Le roman édifiant aux XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles», Montréal et Paris, Université de Montréal et Université Paris 3-Sorbonne nouvelle, thèse de doctorat en cotutelle, 2014. Dir. : Ugo Dionne (Université de Montréal) et Jean-Paul Sermain (Université Paris 3-Sorbonne nouvelle). URL : <>.

Edifying novels of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries—narrative prose fictions that clearly put forth their will to convey Christian values and influence the behavior of their readers in the sense of these values—develop a specific poetics, based on the research and the unveiling of Christian truth through mundane fiction. They therefore emphasize a problem that has haunted writers and theorists of the Classical Age, namely the reconciliation of novelistic pleasure and morality. The narrative topics of the edifying novel (characters, places and times), its materiality (titles, internal divisions, groups of works) and voice (narrative and rhetorical) contribute to the development of significations that serve the persuasive and religious aim of the works while creating stories and imaginary worlds capable of satisfying the taste of the audience for the novel. This study aims to reintegrate in the history of the novel a body of works neglected by literary critics by showing their contribution to the development of the novel: the novel of the Old Regime, but also the modern novel of thesis and by extension, the entire ideological fiction.

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