Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy




Daniel Vaillancourt


Traditionally, scientific research about pleasure in French literature has been conducted along two paths. The first being historical and based on a thematic uniting. The second path has been through the field of literary reception. Boosted by a modern logos, these approaches have confined their analysis to a heritage of historic speech and an ethos considered to be universal. It is now time to examine these paradigms and to analyse pleasure from a morphological perspective.

From this standpoint, two questions can be raised. Why is the pleasure a sign whose circulation activates the operability of fiction? Which structure, specific to this sign, may we conceptualize from the functions of pleasure?

To answer these questions, my thesis is divided into three parts. In the first part, From pleasure to literature, we redraw the history between pleasure and literature, and we observe the circulation and the functions of the sign in contemporary French literature. In the second part, the Desublimative Presences, the analysis is focused on the mediums that direct the libido in accordance with the power requirement. In the third part, Small Handbook of Erotology, by aid of a conceptual figure, Eros, it is demonstrated that the pleasure in narrative fiction is omnipresent.

In the conclusion, in accordance with the general essay, I introduce the on-id, a principle of transgression that would be at the base of the aesthetic and literary gesture.