The International Symposium ”It was Tomorrow : Anticipating Science Fiction in France and Quebec (1890-1950)”/”C’était demain : anticiper la science-fiction en France et au Québec” was held between 24th-26th of October at the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi, Canada, organized by the Canada Research Chair on the Modern Novel from the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi, the University of New Brunswick from Fredericton and the University Michel de Montaigne Bordeaux 3, France.
The symposium’s ambition is to question the literary, contextual and formal foundations of the French and Francophone science fiction from an expanded twentieth century (1890-2010).
The first part of this project, “The Hidden Gods of the French and Francophone science fiction : politics, religion, metaphysics ? 1950-2010” was held in Bordeaux (France) in November 2012.
Organizing and Scientific Committee :
Patrick Bergeron (Department of French Studies at the University of New Brunswick, Canada)
Patrick Guay ( Canada Research Chair on the Modern Novel)
Natacha Vas-Deyres (EA CLARE, University Michel de Montaigne Bordeaux 3, France)
François Ouellet (Canada Research Chair on the Modern Novel)
Florence Plet-Nicolas (EA CLARE, University Michel de Montaigne Bordeaux 3, France)
Roger Bozzetto ( University of Aix en Provence, France)
Daniele André ( FLLASH , University of La Rochelle, France)
The French and Quebec literature of conjecture from the first half of the twentieth century, which is not yet known as science fiction, but as anticipation, wonderful-scientifical literature or „extraordinary voyages”, is approached by two a priori paradoxical perspectives : political, social and scientific modernity, designated by the ideology of progress is opposed by a deep current of pessimism , a sort of “trademark” of the French anticipation from the 1920s. This literature then enters the era of a dystopian imaginary or counter-utopian, using the altercation as a systematic means of subversion. The violence of it’s performances, especially at the popular writers’ work, is crystallized the emergence of modern barbarism, fueled by ideologies claiming to belong to the science and implemented using the most advanced techniques, showing that barbarism is not a danger of the future, but the dominant feature of the twentieth century .
This conference has analysed for the first time, the identity, the production background and criticism of this autonomous cultural field (or in the process of becoming) in France and Quebec. It had highlighted :
The works of French authors known or unknown in terms of anticipation and/or speculative literature as Régis Messac, René Barjavel, Jacques Spitz, Maurice Renard, Théo Varlet, Léon Groc , Jean Ray, Jean de la Hire, Gustave Le Rouge, Octave Béliard, René Thévenin, Camille Flammarion, J.H.Rosny Aîné, Albert Robida, Claude Farrère, José Moselli, Renée Dunan, André Maurois, Marc Wersinger, Charles Dérennes, Raoul Brémon, Tancred Vallerey, Gaston Leroux, Paul d’Ivoi, Ernest Pérochon, Arnould Galopin, Georges Le Faure, Han Ryner, etc.
The appearance of the first works of science fiction in Quebec, by Ulrich Barthe, Jules Jehin, Ubald Paquin, Jean-Charles Harvey, Alexandre Huot, Emmanuel Desrosiers, Pierre Saurel ( Daignault etc.)
© Poster by Lionel Cazaux (Bordeaux 3 University, France)