Loti and Indochina: A Myth in the Making

Loti's account in Le Figaro of a French military operation near Hué in 1883 has been consistently misinterpreted, both during the public controversy that originally surrounded it, and by biographers and critics ever since. Because opponents of French imperialism seized on Loti's narrative as evidence of the barbaric manner in which they alleged France was conducting herself overseas, it has been generally assumed that the text itself expressed an anti-colonial stance. Careful examination of the text and of related correspondence shows that on the contrary, the author's pro-French sympathies render the myth of his anticolonialism quite untenable. (AGH)

Hargreaves, Alec G
Volume 1985-1986 Fall-Winter; 14(1-2): 138-52.