Poetry and the Police

Harvard University Press
2
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Darnton has ably mined the available evidence surrounding the 1749 investigation and string of arrests for sedition known as the "Affair of the Fourteen" and produced a remarkable analysis of a subversive Parisian public discourse that openly attacked the king, his mistress, new taxes, and an unpopular peace treaty. Darnton lucidly reconstructs a world where information traveled through poems and songs set to familiar melodies; he reminds us that our world of instant communication, tweets, and 24-hour news cycles is not as distinctive as we may believe. With rich end matter that includes the lyrics of poems and songs as well as a link to a superb recording of some of the songs by cabaret artist Helene Delavault, this interdisciplinary piece is highly recommended for serious students across the humanities as well as readers with an interest in 18th-century French culture and politics.
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About the author

Robert Darnton is Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor, Harvard University , and Director of the University Library, Harvard University .

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Additional Information

Publisher
Harvard University Press
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Published on
Mar 15, 2011
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Pages
240
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ISBN
9780674059276
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Europe / France
History / Modern / 18th Century
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Peter the Great, Nicholas and Alexandra, and The Romanovs returns with another masterpiece of narrative biography, the extraordinary story of an obscure German princess who became one of the most remarkable, powerful, and captivating women in history. Born into a minor noble family, Catherine transformed herself into empress of Russia by sheer determination. For thirty-four years, the government, foreign policy, cultural development, and welfare of the Russian people were in her hands. She dealt with domestic rebellion, foreign wars, and the tidal wave of political change and violence churned up by the French Revolution. Catherine’s family, friends, ministers, generals, lovers, and enemies—all are here, vividly brought to life. History offers few stories richer than that of Catherine the Great. In this book, an eternally fascinating woman is returned to life.
 
“[A] compelling portrait not just of a Russian titan, but also of a flesh-and-blood woman.”—Newsweek
 
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“A great life, indeed, and irresistibly told.”—Salon
 
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
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BONUS: This edition contains a Catherine the Great reader's guide.
“Splendid. . . . [Darnton gives] us vivid, hard-won detail, illuminating narrative, and subtle, original insight.”—Timothy Garton Ash, New York Review of Books With his uncanny ability to spark life in the past, Robert Darnton re-creates three historical worlds in which censorship shaped literary expression in distinctive ways.

In eighteenth-century France, censors, authors, and booksellers collaborated in making literature by navigating the intricate culture of royal privilege. Even as the king's censors outlawed works by Voltaire, Rousseau, and other celebrated Enlightenment writers, the head censor himself incubated Diderot’s great Encyclopedie by hiding the banned project’s papers in his Paris townhouse. Relationships at court trumped principle in the Old Regime.

Shaken by the Sepoy uprising in 1857, the British Raj undertook a vast surveillance of every aspect of Indian life, including its literary output. Years later the outrage stirred by the British partition of Bengal led the Raj to put this knowledge to use. Seeking to suppress Indian publications that it deemed seditious, the British held hearings in which literary criticism led to prison sentences. Their efforts to meld imperial power and liberal principle fed a growing Indian opposition.

In Communist East Germany, censorship was a component of the party program to engineer society. Behind the unmarked office doors of Ninety Clara-Zetkin Street in East Berlin, censors developed annual plans for literature in negotiation with high party officials and prominent writers. A system so pervasive that it lodged inside the authors’ heads as self-censorship, it left visible scars in the nation’s literature.

By rooting censorship in the particulars of history, Darnton's revealing study enables us to think more clearly about efforts to control expression past and present.

 本書探討十八世紀法國的思考方式。書中試圖陳明的不只是人們想些什麼,而且包括他們怎麼思考--也就是他們如何闡明這個世界,賦予意義,並且注入感情。探究的途徑不是遵循知識史的高速公路,而是探入文化地圖尚未標示的一個領域,在法國稱之為「心靈史」(l'histoire des mentalités)。這個類別在英文仍然無以名之,為了單純起見,不妨稱作文化史(cultural history),因為那是以人類學家研究異種文化的同一方式處理我們自己的文明。那是人種誌(ethnography)觀察入微所看到的歷史。「根據一名目擊的工人,賈克‧文森的印刷舖發生過最有趣的事情,是一場翻天覆地的貓大屠殺。」羅伯.丹屯用這樣的破題句,開始探索十八世紀中葉法國技工所舉行的暴力儀式。在一系列妙筆生花的文章中,丹屯教授考掘啟蒙運動時代法國居住在都市、城鎮與鄉村的平凡人與不平凡人匪夷所思的世界觀。從法國農民陰森森的民間故事出發,一路逛到把盧梭和散佈省區各地的讀者扣在一起的浪漫情懷,丹屯引領讀者見識久遭誤解的思考與感受的方式。十八世紀法國人的文化有珍奇的一面,也有尋常的一面,丹屯一一召喚而出,藉以邀請讀者思索這一類的問題:為什麼巴黎的一群工匠覺得貓大屠殺那麼有趣?玩笑如何在舊制度的工人間發酵?《貓大屠殺》揭露一個文化的萬花筒視野,既熟悉又奇妙。羅伯.丹屯在本書提供了治療文化震盪所不可或缺而且入口難忘的一帖藥劑。

本書特色 
「羅伯.丹屯具備新聞採訪記者追根究柢的好奇心,一絲不茍的學者窮本究源的敬業精神,以及小說家的敏感度。」——The New Republic
「慧心妙筆有創意,經常一針見血。」——Time
「文化震盪的一場演練。」——Chronicle of Higher Education

內容摘要(引自作者序)
書中根據大異其趣的文本所帶出的驚訝,循聲窮追猛打。〈小紅帽〉的一個原始版本,貓大屠殺的一則記載,描敘一個城市的一段奇文,一名警探所保存的令人稱奇的檔案--這些文件不可能拿來代表十八世紀的思想,當作敲門磚卻綽綽有餘。書中討論的方式是從表達世界觀最含糊籠統的陳述著手,而後越來越精確。
第一章是民間傳說的考據,論及的故事在法國幾乎無人不曉,特別是在農村地區。第二章詮釋一群都市技工流傳的故事。循社會階梯往上爬,第三章說明都市生活對於地方上的資產階級到底有些什麼意義。隨後,場景轉到巴黎以及知識份子的世界--先是警方所見,他們有自成一格的方法形塑現實(第四章),其次是根據認識論從啟蒙運動的的主要文本挑選所得,這份文本就是《百科全書》的〈序論〉(第五章)。最後一章則說明盧梭和百科全書學派分道揚鑣一事如何掀啟思考與感受的新途徑,其要義可以從盧梭在世時的讀者的觀點重讀他的作品而體會出來。
“Splendid. . . . [Darnton gives] us vivid, hard-won detail, illuminating narrative, and subtle, original insight.”—Timothy Garton Ash, New York Review of Books With his uncanny ability to spark life in the past, Robert Darnton re-creates three historical worlds in which censorship shaped literary expression in distinctive ways.

In eighteenth-century France, censors, authors, and booksellers collaborated in making literature by navigating the intricate culture of royal privilege. Even as the king's censors outlawed works by Voltaire, Rousseau, and other celebrated Enlightenment writers, the head censor himself incubated Diderot’s great Encyclopedie by hiding the banned project’s papers in his Paris townhouse. Relationships at court trumped principle in the Old Regime.

Shaken by the Sepoy uprising in 1857, the British Raj undertook a vast surveillance of every aspect of Indian life, including its literary output. Years later the outrage stirred by the British partition of Bengal led the Raj to put this knowledge to use. Seeking to suppress Indian publications that it deemed seditious, the British held hearings in which literary criticism led to prison sentences. Their efforts to meld imperial power and liberal principle fed a growing Indian opposition.

In Communist East Germany, censorship was a component of the party program to engineer society. Behind the unmarked office doors of Ninety Clara-Zetkin Street in East Berlin, censors developed annual plans for literature in negotiation with high party officials and prominent writers. A system so pervasive that it lodged inside the authors’ heads as self-censorship, it left visible scars in the nation’s literature.

By rooting censorship in the particulars of history, Darnton's revealing study enables us to think more clearly about efforts to control expression past and present.

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