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Bermingham, Ronald Paul, «Le théâtre de jeunesse de Rousseau : portrait du “moi” en amoureux», Montréal, Université McGill, thèse de doctorat, février 1991, 2 vol., xxx/555 p. Dir. : Jean Terrasse.

This dissertation is a study of the first three plays that Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote for the operatic stage: Iphis and La Découverte du nouveau monde, both examples of the genre tragédie lyrique, and Les Muses galantes, an opéra-ballet. Semiotic and poetic analyses bring to light striking resemblances between the dramatic situations depicted in the operas and the personal drama of the young Rousseau in love. As a whole, the operas reveal two distinct portraits of the self in love. The first, painted in colours of passion, reveals a self implicated in triangular relationships that are resolved through the abnegation of desire; the second, brushed in shades of contentment, devotion, and fidelity, celebrate the delights of requited love. These two portraits are studied in the light of Rousseau’s principal writings in order to demonstrate how the early operatic works reflect true images of an ever evolving self in love.

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