Emotions et nation dans la littérature du Moyen Âge et de la Renaissance

Source: University of Pittsburgh

Apprendre des massacres: émotions et nation dans la littérature du Moyen Âge et de la Renaissance

Morand Métivier, Charles-Louis (2013) Apprendre des massacres: émotions et nation dans la littérature du Moyen Âge et de la Renaissance. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh.

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Abstract

This dissertation examines the literary representations of massacres from the late fourteenth to the sixteenth century as challenging accepted notions of nationhood and kingship, recreating the nation as an emotional community that transcends traditional ideas of class, rank or wealth. The diachronic approach of this dissertation covers texts written over a period of two hundred years that were written in reaction to three particular massacres: the Battle of Nicopolis (September 25th, 1396), the Battle of Agincourt (October 25th, 1415), and the events of the First French War of Religion (1561-1563). The main theoretical framework of this dissertation is the idea of emotional communities developed by Barbara Rosenwein. She demonstrates that numerous emotional communities coexisted during the same period, some dominating political and social discourses, but she does not focus on the nation as an emotional community. I use the idea of emotional communities to study how massacres created the possibility for an emotional approach to the study of the nation as an assemblage of communities that redefines itself after a major defeat. I study these communities not only as isolated groups, but also as integrated parts of the nation. The emotional charge following the massacres that created these communities puts them at the center of the new image of France developed in my works, which redefines the French nation as a community of communities and the king as its emotional leader. Through close readings of Philippe de Mézieres’s Epitre lamentable et consolatoire (1397), Christine de Pizan’s Epitre de la prison de vie humaine (1418), Alain Chartier’s Livre des quatre dames (1418), the anonymous Tragédie du sac de Cabrières (1545), and Pierre de Ronsard’s Discours (1562-1565), I demonstrate how the early modern nation built itself following moments of crisis, with emotions as the medium of its creation, and with the king as the emotional cement between its different components.



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