In the summer of 1927, Walter Benjamin wrote about a possible future project on what he called French Trauerspiel, or mourning drama. In this volume of Yale French Studies, an international team of leading scholars of early modern Europe takes its cue from that lapsed project to reread the seventeenth-century French tragic canon as Trauerspiel. These new readings draw attention to early modern French theater’s reflections on chance and contingency, political compromise, the question of allegory, the philosophy of the provisional, the place of sound, and the status of the creaturely.
Hall Bjørnstad is assistant professor of French at Indiana University. Katherine Ibbett is reader in early modern studies at University College, London.
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