Disparition de Georges Forestier
  • University

Remembering Georges Forestier

We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Georges Forestier, historian of literary forms, specialist in dramaturgy and eminent professor of French literature.

A life in the theater

Born on June 13, 1951 in Nice, Forestier devoted his academic life to the exploration and in-depth analysis of 17th-century theater, in particular the works of Corneille, Racine and Molière.

Georges Forestier was a pioneer in the field of "theatrical genetics", a method of analysis he developed to illuminate the creative processes behind dramatic masterpieces. His academic career was marked by prestigious positions, notably as Professor Emeritus of French Literature at Sorbonne University's Faculty of Arts and Humanities, where he taught from 1995 to 2020.

Georges Forestier has directed several renowned research institutions, including the Centre de recherche sur l'histoire du théâtre and the Centre d'étude de la langue et des littératures françaises. He also founded the Théâtre Molière Sorbonne, and, with researcher Mickaël Bouffard, staged a revisited version of The Imaginary Invalid, including two sold-out performances at the Opéra Royal de Versailles in 2023.

His academic contributions are wide-ranging and influential, from his editorial work on Racine and Molière to his research on Corneille. His works, such as Passions tragiques et règles classiques: essai sur la tragédie française (PUF, 2003), have enriched our understanding of classical playwrights and their historical contexts.

Forestier's three-act adaptation of Tartuffe, staged for the first time by Ivo van Hove at the Comédie-Française in 2022, received critical acclaim.

His unique methodology, which aimed to enter the writer's studio to understand the creative process, has left an indelible mark on the field of literary studies.

Georges Forestier's work will continue to be honored through performances, in particular at the end of April by the Théâtre Molière Sorbonne, which will perform Les Précieuses Ridicules.

The Sorbonne University community shares the grief of his family and friends, and will pay him the tribute he deserves.