Les enjeux du divertissement dans les Nouvelles françaises de Jean Regnault de Segrais
Cassidy, Virginie Marie-France
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This dissertation concentrates on Jean Regnault de Segrais' Les Nouvelles françaises ou les divertissements de la princesse Aurélie, a collection of short stories which portrays six noblewomen entertaining one another through story-telling and other leisure activities. The book was allegedly composed at the request of Mlle de Montpensier, the patron of Segrais. My work evaluates the cultural, political and literary stakes of the notion of divertissement as a means of diversion and social amusement alike. I provide a systematic analysis of the different levels of divertissement inherent in the book in which games function not only on structural and thematic levels, but also in the author's very approach to writing. Drawing on a wide array of texts contemporary to the author, this study explores how the book manifests Montpensier's socio-cultural resistance to absolutist power while the role of Segrais as a secretary and his use of divertissement allow him to advance his underlying critique of the social framework of the era.