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La collaboration littéraire sous Louis XIV, expression d’une communauté – Logique de Port-Royal (1662) et Psyché (1671)


This article explores the nature of collaboration under the early reign of Louis XIV. Whereas absolute monarchy tended to discourage the interpersonal cooperation required for collective projects, this study focuses on literary works that resulted from private collaborations and the spontaneous blend of multiple authors’ talents. In this aim, it analyzes La Logique de Port-Royal, by Arnauld and Nicole, as well as Psyché, a ballet drama co-written by Molière and Corneille. These two works highlight distinct forms of collaboration based on differing motivation and working relationships. On the one hand, friendship between the two authors of La Logique preceded their decision to create a joint project. It inspired them to forge and fuse their thoughts to the benefit of the coherence of the work, leading even their names to recede into the anonymity of their combined thoughts. On the other hand, the need to produce a play rapidly for royal entertainment motivated the authors of Psyché to divide the task: Corneille completed scenes for a plot already devised by Molière alone. Although their collaboration brings together texts that each author wrote independently, a common goal arose from the prestige of satisfying royal request. These two literary collaborations involve different concepts of community that engage the audience in divergent ways. Yet, both demonstrate a commitment to sharing that proves essential to the community and serves as the fundamental basis for creative writing.

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