The Family Romance of the French Revolution / Edition 1

The Family Romance of the French Revolution / Edition 1

4.6 16
by Lynn Hunt
     
 

This latest work from an author known for her contributions to the new cultural history is a daring multidisciplinary investigation of the imaginative foundations of modern politics. "Family romance" was coined by Freud to describe the fantasy of being freed from one's family and belonging to one of higher social standing. In Freud's view, the family romance was a way… See more details below

Overview

This latest work from an author known for her contributions to the new cultural history is a daring multidisciplinary investigation of the imaginative foundations of modern politics. "Family romance" was coined by Freud to describe the fantasy of being freed from one's family and belonging to one of higher social standing. In Freud's view, the family romance was a way for individuals to fantasize about their place in the social order. Hunt uses the term more broadly, to describe the images of the familial order underlying revolutionary politics. She investigates the narratives of family relations that structured the collective political unconscious. Most Europeans in the eighteenth century thought of their rulers as fathers and of their nations as families writ large. The French Revolution violently disrupted that patriarchal model of authority and raised troubling questions about what was to replace it. The king and queen were executed after dramatic separate trials. Prosecutors in the trial of the queen accused her of exerting undue influence on the king and his ministers, engaging in sexual debauchery, and even committing incest with her eight-year-old son. Hunt focuses on the meaning of killing the king-father and the queen-mother and what these ritual sacrifices meant to the establishment of a new model of politics. In a wide-ranging account that uses novels, engravings, paintings, speeches, newspaper editorials, pornographic writing, and revolutionary legislation about the family, Hunt shows that politics were experienced through the grid of the family romance.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520082700
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
02/24/1993
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
213
Sales rank:
1,108,945
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.63(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
1The Family Model of Politics1
2The Rise and Fall of the Good Father17
3The Band of Brothers53
4The Bad Mother89
5Sade's Family Politics124
6Rehabilitating the Family151
Epilogue: Patriarchy in the Past Tense?193
Index205

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