Policing Prostitutes: Adaptations and Reactions to Edmond de Goncourt's La Fille Elisa

No legal action was taken against Edmond de Goncourt's prostitute-prisoner novel, La Fille Elisa (1877); however, three adaptations of it – "La Fille Elisabeth" (1877), La Fille Elisa: scène d'atelier (c. 1880), and La Fille Elisa: pièce (1890) – were repressed. The two former ignored the issue of prisons, but attacked the portrayal of prostitutes. The latter was praised for its description of prisons, but repressed because of its depiction of prostitutes. In each case, La Fille Elisa was used as a scapegoat for more general complaints about Naturalist themes, even when public tastes, along with Naturalism itself, were evolving. (In English) (KA)

Ashley, Katherine.
Volume 2004-2005 Fall-Winter; 33(1-2): 135-46.