Immigrazione o apocalisse? Riflessioni critiche e pedagogiche a margine del controverso romanzo Il Campo dei Santi di Jean Raspail

William Grandi

The migration phenomenon is one of the most complex events in our historical period: the arrival of men and women from distant countries in search of refuge, work or protection forces Western societies to deal with difficult challenges that do not only involve the sectors of the economy and politics, but also the domains of imagination and literature. Indeed, sometimes literature seems to become a powerful tool capable both of empathically telling the experience of migrants, and, conversely, of amplifying and deforming the fears and anguishes that the arrival of new people causes in the West. The novel Le Camp des Saints published in 1973 by the French writer Jean Raspail belongs to this second category: it describes in apocalyptic and dystopian terms the arrival by sea of a hungry multitude of Indian migrants who have decided to invade France. It is deliberately a disturbing novel which has become a sort of handbook for many political figures today. This article intends to examine Raspail's book from a literary, historical and pedagogical point of view, in order to highlight its narrative mechanisms, ideological references and the possible implications on the collective imagination.


migration phenomenon, imagination, literature, history.