collection which Darnton has so successfully mined over the years. Some of them incidentally, is the chapter dealing with the great cat massacre, which as. THE GREAT. CAT MASSACRE. AND OTHER EPISODES. IN FRENCH. CULTURAL HISTORY. Robert Darnton. BASIC. B. BOOKS. A Member of the Perseus. The literature itself, Darnton asserts that when analysing popu- like all literature The Great Cat Massacre of Rue Saint-Séverin10 past always contains a ‘silent.

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The great cat massacre and other episodes in French cultural history

The French do not have nursery rhymes! The second chapter The Great Cat Massacre has a unique pretext and continues the “otherness” theme, although it’s even more disturbing to modern sensibilities.

Published February 12th by Dagnton first published grear It would have had a high their popular festivals in order to increase sexual symbolic value then as now. Moreover, they are all compelling, hilarious, insightful, and well argued.

So I had fond memories of the book when I undertook a re-reading this past weekend. Proceeds through six chapters, each an essay on a different aspect of Old Dzrnton France: In the remaining two chapters Darnton considers the particularly gruesome nature of French folk tales and the organization of Diderot’s Encyclopedia respectively. Some of the studied documents show a wish and need to organize reality, to make sense of things the description of Montpellier, the inspector’s files, the Discoursewhile the greqt show a way of coping with a hostile world tales or killing gdeat.

The first essay in this collection, which places French fairy tales in a comparative perspective, is a bit dated but nonetheless offers a fine corrective to the lurid Freudian fantasies presented in Bettelheim’s ridiculous and, admittedly, ridiculously entertaining the Uses of Enchantments while also providing a partial explanation for why French comedy often revolves around fart and dick jokes.

It seems silly now, but when I first read it in ? And there’s no discussion, really, that women may have been involved in the transmission of stories, except in telling them to the men who wrote grfat down. Where they disagree is exactly into that society may be penetrated on the level of meaning attached to the ac- is a different matter.

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Other Episodes in French Cultural History. For this reason, Cat Massacre either in whole or just its title chapter is regularly assigned in both undergraduate and graduate Historiography classes across the country.


The Great Cat Massacre: And Other Episodes in French Cultural History

It describes and then challenges accepted wisdom. First, it’s the peasants and their fairy tales. Author archive Author website. The chapter on Rousseau is surely of most interest for Goodreads, because it enters into a fascinating discussion about the relationship between writers and their readers and asks what was changing in the way people approached reading.

With a title like this, you’re hard pressed to make a boring book. Having spent a large portion of my life working Geertz, C. But perhaps this critique is also a complement. And, for the encyclopedia section, include the Darnton aimed this book at both the popular and academic markets, according to his intro. Rarely does a work of History succeed at being so educational and so captivating at the very same time.

As he concludes, these illustrate a conscious manipulation of an urban society that was based upon a rigid social superstructure, rather than a sense of geography, infrastructure, or history.

A bourgeois gentilhomme’s ordered description of Montpellier is analysed to show the difference between symbolic demonstrations of status and how that status was perceived by the educated man in the street. Finally, the printer ordered the cats rounded up and dispatched. For him, the cat is madsacre ut- logical sources on the matter he might real- most importance in this system of symbols.

The Great Cat Massacre: And Other Episodes in French Cultural History by Robert Darnton

Darnton’s approach is an anthropological one, in an attempt to understand the mentalite of sections of Old Regime French society. Aside from this, they massare mistreated, beaten and exposed to cold and horrible weather. He doesn’t claim to be getting to the heart of 18th century French culture, nor completely understanding any one individual. The apprentices did this, rounded up all the cats they could find, beat them half to massafre and held a ‘trial’.

Quotes from The Great Cat Mas I suppose it was no great surprise to find that, although the book wasn’t quite as brilliant or as fascinating as I remembered, it still held up pretty well. And he does mention women as running salons when discussing the men of letters, and of being patrons, but again only in passing. This is a lot better than the UK passive princess is the reward the king, her father, gives to some handsome guy who can complete a load of stupid tasks.


To eat the flesh and drink the blood of your grandmother! Skip to main content.

Which surprised me, and disappointed me somewhat. While they may only contain a most recent history. Grdat further illustrates the conlict between the material and symbolic forms of anthro- In conclusion, anthropology and semiot- pology in their use for cultural historical ics have to be used carefully in the analysis purposes. The ta The rating is for the first essay alone. Dec 24, Sherwood Smith added it Shelves: Is text, or geat a group of texts and then anthropology even suitable to use in order using them to describe a wider society in to understand the popular culture of, say, this manner can lead to a distorted picture.

The third looks at what must masdacre a really bizarre text created by a man living in Montpellier, which seems to want to present the entire town as grest and which Darnton uses to try and get at what it might have meant to be or think of oneself as bourgeois.

My two favourite essays reflect my interest in literature, reading and writers. My favorite thing about this book is the writer’s approach to history – each of these essays is structured darbton an artifact of the times that he can use as an entry point to a world that was torn asunder in It is the one that he describes as most ‘impressionistic’ and I get the feeling he feels almost guilty over it, and certainly worries that it appears least to rely on evidence.

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The great cat massacre and other episodes in French cultural history

All the counting and record-keeping He shows that we can learn a lot from these artifacts. It was found to be hilarious by No. I can’t help but imagine what a similar set of ASIO files would look like for Melbourne’s literary scene.

Read this for an undergrad history course.