This article analyses the effectiveness and limits of Mirbeau’s literary strategies during his engagement in the Dreyfus Affair. Differently from Dreyfusard intellectuals involved in the affair who strongly relied on the publication and examination of original documents, Mirbeau believes that mystification can be a useful literary weapon to persuade the public opinion. Thus, Mirbeau’s strategies combine satire and the production of various apocryphal texts: imaginary interviews, fake letters, preposterous statements from well-known personalities. Mirbeau’s chronicles act then as an efficient critical mirror reflecting his opponents’ unfair methods, exposing their systematic use of fake information, their unethical motivations and cruel behaviours.

Mystifier pour convaincre de la vérité: Octave Mirbeau dans l’Affaire Dreyfus

Agnese Silvestri
2018-01-01

Abstract

This article analyses the effectiveness and limits of Mirbeau’s literary strategies during his engagement in the Dreyfus Affair. Differently from Dreyfusard intellectuals involved in the affair who strongly relied on the publication and examination of original documents, Mirbeau believes that mystification can be a useful literary weapon to persuade the public opinion. Thus, Mirbeau’s strategies combine satire and the production of various apocryphal texts: imaginary interviews, fake letters, preposterous statements from well-known personalities. Mirbeau’s chronicles act then as an efficient critical mirror reflecting his opponents’ unfair methods, exposing their systematic use of fake information, their unethical motivations and cruel behaviours.
Cet article réfléchit sur l’efficacité et les limites des stratégies littéraires déployées par Mirbeau dans son engagement dreyfusard. En s’écartant du choix opéré par les intellectuels du front dreyfusard, qui misent sur la divulgation et l’analyse de documents authentiques pour convaincre l’opinion publique, Mirbeau revendique la mystification comme arme littéraire de combat civique. L’emploi de la satire se conjugue ainsi chez lui avec différentes pratiques de l’apocryphe : interviews imaginaires, fausses lettres, propos absurdes attribués aux personnages de l’actualité. Les chroniques mirbelliennes deviennent ainsi un miroir critique des pratiques déloyales de ses adversaires, dont elles dénoncent l’utilisation systématique du faux, l’immoralité des motivations, la férocité de la conduite.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4714847
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