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Apartment Stories: City and Home in Nineteenth-Century Paris and London

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In urban studies, the nineteenth century is the "age of great cities."
In feminist studies, it is the era of the separate domestic sphere. But what of the city's homes?
In the course of answering this question, Apartment Stories provides a singular and radically new framework for understanding the urban and the domestic. Turning to an element of the cityscape that is thoroughly familiar yet frequently overlooked, Sharon Marcus argues that the ...

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Overview

In urban studies, the nineteenth century is the "age of great cities."
In feminist studies, it is the era of the separate domestic sphere. But what of the city's homes?
In the course of answering this question, Apartment Stories provides a singular and radically new framework for understanding the urban and the domestic. Turning to an element of the cityscape that is thoroughly familiar yet frequently overlooked, Sharon Marcus argues that the apartment house embodied the intersections of city and home, public and private, and masculine and feminine spheres.

Moving deftly from novels to architectural treatises, legal debates, and popular urban observation, Marcus compares the representation of the apartment house in Paris and London. Along the way, she excavates the urban ghost tales that encoded Londoners' ambivalence about city dwellings; contends that Haussmannization enclosed Paris in a new regime of privacy; and locates a female counterpart to the flâneur and the omniscient realist narrator—the portière who supervised the apartment building.

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What People Are Saying

Bruce Robbins
Works from the brilliant premise that urban culture and domestic architecture are indeed related in a number of unpredictable and mutually enlightening ways. Marcus's readings of Balzac and Zola...are absolutely superb.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520208520
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 3/10/1999
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 333
  • Product dimensions: 6.25 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Sharon Marcus is Associate Professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
Pt. 1 Open Houses
1 Seeing through Paris, 1820-1848 17
2 Balzac's Spatial Relations 51
Pt. 2 The City and the Domestic Ideal
3 The Haunted London House, 1940-1880 83
Pt. 3 Interiorization and Its Discontents
4 Enclosing Paris, 1852-1880 135
5 Zola's Restless House 166
Notes 199
Bibliography 281
Photograph Credits 314
Index 315
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