Quand la nuit vient à être plus riche que le jour. Pierre Deffontaines et la lutte contre le rythme nycthéméral

  • Antoine Huerta Centre de recherches en histoire internationale et atlantique, Universitè de La Rochelle, France
Keywords: sleep, night, house, Pierre Deffontaines


Among many unknown texts of the French geographer Pierre Deffontaines, the Introduction to a geography of sleep and night is interesting for two reasons: it is one of the last articles he publishes (1966) and he represents not only his conceptions of geography, but also the direction he wanted to give it to. This text should be considered in its context of production; it would be a condition to understand this geography of the night with a new historical approach. From an epistemological point of view, his creation is quite unusual. It will allow us to show how Deffontaines “thinks elsewhere”, as Michel de Montaigne said, quoted and analysed by Nicole Lapierre. If this composition fits well in the épistémè of his time – that of the French school of so-called classical geography – we will see how this geography of the night entitles Deffontaines to be called a precursor, a foreign thinker in the French academic world.