Italian Journal of Criminology

The official journal of the Italian Society of Criminology

by Cristiano Barbieri

In this paper, we consider the criminal events narrated in the novel by Guy de Maupassant’s “La petite Roque” published in 1886: the sexual abuse of a minor made by the mayor of his home, and the subsequent killing of the victim by strangulation by the same, and the suicide of the offender to some months after the homicide. You do not want to assess the criminal responsibility of the protagonist and does not deal with aspects of victimology type, because the story focuses more on the criminal, who on the victim. Conversely, refers to a setting of type narratological, in order to propose an interpretive path. This, in fact, starting from the literary narrative and understood in terms of artistic representation, allows us to understand the relationship between the state of consciousness of the criminal and the criminal type. For these reasons, taking a cue from the serious facts described, attention is focused on the personality of the offender, on his experiences and his ailments, as well as the correlations between his way of being and its various pipelines, not only violent, but also deviant. This approach is motivated by the knowledge that the literary narrative can become the paradigm of a true narrative criminology, as exemplified by the work of Maupassant.

Sezione di Medicina Legale e Scienze Forensi, Università degli Studi di Pavia

Cristiano Barbieri
Contacts: Cristiano Barbieri, Sezione di Medicina Legale e Scienze Forensi, Università degli Studi di Pavia, Via Forlanini n.12, 27100, Pavia, 0382.987800.  e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

From: Rassegna Italiana di Criminologia n° 1/2015



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