• Essay of approach and definition of a twentieth century tragic

    JEAN-FREDERIC CHEVALLIER  

    Essay of approach and definition of a twentieth century tragicAbstract of the book  Essai d'approche et de définition d'un tragique du XXème siècle  

    published by ANRT Diffusion, Lille, 2002. 434 pages. 

    ISBN : 978-2-7295-5080-6


    Essay of approach and definition of a twentieth century tragic


    Greek tragedy is the full and entire expression of the tragic phenomenon. From the former we can deduce three elements capable of defining latter. The tragic concerns the being of man. To be perceived, an ontological continuity needs to be established. It takes the shape of an aporie.

    Anti-Hegelian philosophers such as Kierkegaard, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche demonstrate this hypothesis. The tragic produces a feeling : anguish for the first one, disgust with life for the second one and joy for the third one. A more strictly aesthetic definition of the phenomenon, offered specifically by Maeterlinck and Wagner, shows the tragic mainly as an effect.

    This first study highlights the conceptual tools needed to comprehend the tragic in the dramatic texts of the twentieth century, and shows how the tragic is invested in the transition between modernism and postmodernism.

    The forms taken by the phenomenon in modern and contemporary dramas allow the definition of three main tragic tendencies: an insular tendency (a self-aporie of the self) at the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the twentieth ; a confused tendency (the impossibility of discerning the aporie) and a choral tendency (chorals enable the spectator to perceive the phenomenon) - these  last two tendencies are specific to the twentieth century.

    The key role played by repetition in the perception of the tragic effect (the recurrence of the aporie) allows the rough tracing of a fourth horizon of the tragic, a horizon that we can call a tragedy of the impossible.

     

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