Étudiant-chercheur étoile October 2012

Nicholas Dion

Postdoctoral researcher in Letters and Social Communication
Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières

Award-winning publication: Entre les larmes et l'effroi. La tragédie classique française, 1677-1726

Published in: Classiques Garnier, le 07-2012


"There has never been a comprehensive study of the elements of 1650-1750 tragedy, though it remains the most prestigious literary genre of the classical age. Our work therefore fills a twofold gap: it bridges pre-1650 and post-1750 research and delves further into more general studies on tragedy. We demonstrate the ways in which elegiac inflections and the reliance upon aesthetics of horror shaped, informed and even tainted the classical tragedy genre for some 50 years. We also corrected several points of scholarship (actual names of authors, creation and publication dates, attribution of works and the establishment of texts and variants) for a period and corpus that have long been overlooked."


The book revisits Nicholas Dion's 2010 doctoral thesis and questions the critical myth of the sclerosis that permeated the tragic plays and poems of the late 17th century. The chapters on the elegy, a lyrical poem expressing sadness, set out the fundamental elements of a modern definition of the poetic genre. The historical, rhetorical and stylistic approach extends the scope of the work beyond classical theater. In the long term, the book will serve to reassess the posterity of the great classical authors (Corneille, Racine) studied in college and university curricula and change the reading of their works.