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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I had two issues with reading the book.

The first, site-specific, was the opaque nature of the fifth chapter. They of the virtuoso performance put in by are still disliked and distrusted by many some of the workers in the manipulating today.

The great cat massacre and other episodes in French cultural history

Overall this is a generally approachable book – massacrw for the completely un-historical, but fun if you’re interested in the development of culture and different styles of Doing History.

In the peasant version of Hansel and Gretel, for example, Hansel tricks the ogre not a witch into slitting the throats of his massare children.

While the gruesome and burlesque nature of the massacre might offend the sensibilities of modern readers, it makes perfect sense when cast in the light of its underlying historical circumstances. Darnton is careful to leave his readers with meaningful takeaways at the conclusion of each chapter.

New Literary History, Vol. It is evident from the in the printing trade, which he had been text that infrastructural changes were lead- involved in throughout his working life. All in all I am glad that I read this book and it offers some interesting insight into the world before and during the Enlightenment and Revolution.


I understand the professor’s attitude: The ta The rating is for the first essay alone.

The great cat massacre and other episodes in French cultural history

Each chapter is built around a contemporary record or document, of which a sample is given at the close of the chapter. Anyway, the last chapter is about reading Rousseau and changes in ways of reading.

While he confirms that act was very different to our own way of thinking, he nevertheless draws us in to this fascinating environment in a way that is thoroughly entertaining and at the same time relevant and surprisingly challenging to our modern concerns. This is collection of essays, albeit all serving a common purpose, and it would be sufficiently interesting to write a review discussing any one of them.

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

The rest were somewhat boring. The journeymen were upset that younger, much less experienced workers were being brought in to perform their work for almost nothing while the masters would retire to their personal rooms and lounge, eat, sleep, and take care of their cats.

This desire to re- Dat are a number of literary themes turn to a perceived golden age, real or not, common to the period to be found act the was common in all popular unrest in the story.

The Great Cat Massacre and Why are some of these seventeenth and eighteenth-century fairy tales so gory? Jul 05, David rated it really liked it.


Yes, digging up evidence of women’s contributions to culture can often be problematic. View all 4 comments. Darnton is an intelligent and engaging writer, and the three standout essays in the collection are more than worth the price of admission.

French fairy tales are often very bawdy indeed. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Mar 30, Daniel Polansky added it. The French do not have nursery rhymes!

For the full text of the story see to be borne in mind when thinking on Darnton,pp. Without a doubt, Cat Massacre is one of the most exceptional History books that has ever been written.

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

This is a masswcre 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. Log In Sign Up. Darnton is a true historian and is well aware of the flaws and limitations inherent in his approach, but remains at all times entertaining and smooth to read.

The essay on these reports gives a brilliant picture of the republic of letters at the very caf of the Enlightenment, giving insight into how these men managed to survive.

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