Monologues en France - Du moyen âge à Raymond Devos
The first part of this research is devoted to work of an anthological and descriptive sort, which aims at gathering a corpus of French independent monologues. "Independent monologue" should be understood as a self-sufficient stage performance based on the speaking of a single artist, in opposition to the monologues inserted in a dialogical play. From the Middle Ages to the 1950's, this historical review focuses in particular on the thirteenth century "jongleurs", the burlesque sermons at the junction of the end of the Middles Ages and the early Renaissance, the plays "in monologues" of the eighteenth century, the "monologues fumistes" at the end of the nineteenth century, the poets and cabaret singers of the Belle Époque, Cocteau's monological theatre and two of the first contemporary humorists, Bourvil and Fernand Raynaud. This corpus provides the material for a two-step analysis. First we examine whether the type-differences that certain monologues reveal can be accounted for by objective formal characteristics which then allow us to propose a partition of our corpus. As a result of this questioning, we propose that generic distinctions can be established among the monologues according to the enunciation conditions they develop, that is, whether the speech is directly addressed to the public or not, and whether the enunciator is a character or the artist himself. Next we organize the monological universe according to traits, transversal to the generic partition, with which the monologues present affinities. These traits pertain to scenic modalities, to functions held by the monologuist or to the form of discourse. The analytic tool previously developed is finally brought into play in confronting the work of Raymond Devos, a humorist emblematic of the French scene whose sketches stand out for the remarkable plays on word they display. N. B.: the bibliography aims at offering simplified access to the monologues, in particular by providing the references to internet documents, be they texts that are difficult to obtain or audio and video recordings.