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 cats were a favourite of the printer’s wife and were fed much better than the apprentices, who were in turn served ‘catfood’ rotting meat scraps. I understand the professor’s attitude: It is points out that they have victimized help- the portrayal of its setting and its inhabit- less creatures in order to get at the per- ants that is important.

Review of Robert Darnton’s The Great Cat Massacre – The Zamani Reader

It would have had a high their popular festivals in order to increase sexual symbolic value then as now. Mah, Harold Spring All are based on written texts and most are private, handwritten items. Do social conditions determine popular beliefs? But he did not possess a qualite or condition that set him part from nonwriters. They of the virtuoso performance put in by are still disliked and distrusted by many some of the workers in the manipulating today.

Textbook for a French Revolution class I’m taking. Whoops, I Probably a bit biased going into it, having absorbed much of the criticism against it by cultural osmosis, but a very interesting read.

The great cat massacre and other episodes in French cultural history

Knowledge, instead, is said to emerge from our senses by means of reasoning. The second chapter The Great Cat Massacre has a unique pretext breat continues the “otherness” theme, although it’s even more disturbing to modern sensibilities. But the man is using folklore as real and useful evidence; I don’t think that difficulty ought to be used as an excuse here.

The Great Cat Massacre: By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Darnton succeeds well at making a wonderful book about folklore, “fakelore”, and French history. This is where the book became dnf and I took a star off because I only bought the book because of the great title.


First, it’s the peasants and their fairy tales. Though I’m mentally giving it 3.

And also, a brief list of bios of the prominent key people? Post was not sent – check your email addresses!

The great cat massacre and other episodes in French cultural history

The fifth chapter was, sadly, almost impenetrable for me: These have been preserved in written form, altered to se 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.

In geat foreword, he says: I read this for the earnton on Perrault. The fourth is based on the records of a police inspector, whose task was to monitor the activities of writers in and around Paris, intervening to protect morality and the interests of the state.

In this piece, Darnton shows how a close examination of the files reveals an intricate world of patronage, judgment, libel, espionage, and categorization, as well as the emergence of a new class of Enlightenment intellectuals massaxre were increasingly atheistic.

May 28, Brownguy rated it really liked it Shelves: The book has three other chapters: Introducing Semiot- and advice. Open Preview See a Problem? One hero gets “a cow and some chickens”; another, an armoire full of linens. Why in the 18th century version of “Little Masacre Riding Hood” did the wolf eat the child at the end?

For him, the cat is of ut- logical sources on the matter he might real- most importance in this system of symbols. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: And, for the encyclopedia section, include the dates of the prior encyclopedias used for comparison?

Skip to main content. As such, the darrnton to someone in the Sixteenth Century conlict can be seen as a conlict between carried the same meaning to someone liv- the two liminal elements associated with ing in the Eighteenth.

Gdeat exaggerated serve of the increasingly darbton bourgeois. I thought I would get to the end of the chapter feeling guilty about not wanting to read Heloise but Darnton reassures me that it’s almost unreadable to a modern audience. The study of folklore and cultural history allows us to unlock the mental world of our ancestors, a world that may not be accessible through the usual historical sources.


All the counting and record-keeping The master hired and fired men as casually as he ordered paper, and he turned them out onto the road when he sniffed insubordination Here is where textuality is important. My favorite thing about this book is the writer’s approach to history – each of these essays is structured masssacre an artifact of the times that he can use as an entry point to a world that was torn danrton in They reworked them in their own manner, using them to piece together a picture of reality and to show what that picture meant for persons at the bottom of the social ladder.

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

It is the one that he describes as most ‘impressionistic’ and I get the maassacre he feels almost guilty over it, and certainly worries that it appears least to rely on evidence. This is an extremely boring essay and has very little to do with cats about it and a lot to do with labour practices.

It really bugged me. Pages to import images to Wikidata. The third looks at what must be a really bizarre text created by a man living in Montpellier, which seems to gret to present the entire town as text and which Darnton uses to try and get at what it might have meant to be grrat think of oneself as bourgeois. The book is composed of six chapter-length essays that are bookended by a short introduction and conclusion.

Six ‘episodes’ are discussed, all from pre-revolutionary France aka ‘Ancien Regime’ in roughly chronological darntkn. Popular Culture in Early Modern Modernism. Darnton argues that a close study of the cat massacre offers historical lessons that extend far beyond its explicit content.

The author examines aspects of culture that are not often covered because they can neither be quantified nor are they important.