Paris as Revolution: Writing the Nineteenth-Century City

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"In this absolutely powerful and innovative book, Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson illuminates the complex links between the Revolution of 1789, the different revolutions that took place in 19th-century Paris, and two aesthetic forms characteristic of the cultural discourses of modernity: panoramic journalism and the realist and historical novels authored by Balzac, Flaubert, Hugo, Zola, and Vallès. A work of cultural history with stimulating implications, Paris as Revolution is well-structured, carefully argued and...
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Overview


"In this absolutely powerful and innovative book, Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson illuminates the complex links between the Revolution of 1789, the different revolutions that took place in 19th-century Paris, and two aesthetic forms characteristic of the cultural discourses of modernity: panoramic journalism and the realist and historical novels authored by Balzac, Flaubert, Hugo, Zola, and Vallès. A work of cultural history with stimulating implications, Paris as Revolution is well-structured, carefully argued and problematized, and compelling in its scholarship."—Catherine Nesci, author of La Femme mode d'emploi

"A fascinating and richly suggestive essay on the cultural geography of nineteenth-century Paris. It is imaginatively conceived, broad in its reach, boldly interdisciplinary. Ferguson's success in combining literary criticism, historical interpretation and sociological analysis to reconstruct the shifting meanings given to the experiences of urbanization and revolution is most impressive."—Jonathan Beecher, author of Charles Fourier: The Visionary and His World

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Scholars have always been aware that the French Revolution had many lasting legacies, in France and throughout the world. Ferguson Literary France, Univ. of California Pr., 1987 further demonstrates the vibrancy of the revolutionary heritage by looking at the city of Paris itself. She argues that the city could claim revolution as its very principle. The debates among politicians, historians, and philosophers about the revolution were reflected in descriptions of the city found in guidebooks, in the new names selected for dozens of streets, in the urban renewal projects of Baron Haussmann, and in the active role the city played in the novels of Hugo, Valls, Flaubert, and Zola. Though the book is based on impressive research, its appeal to the general audience will be limited by the author's frequent reliance on jargon like "literature of articulation" and "aesthetic of iteration." For scholarly collections.-T.J. Schaeper, St. Bonaventure Univ., N.Y.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520208872
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 6/20/1997
  • Pages: 267
  • Product dimensions: 6.01 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author


Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson is Professor of French and Sociology and Director of Graduate Studies for the Committee on Comparative Literature at Columbia University. She is the author of Literary France: The Making of a Culture (California, 1987; under the name Priscilla Parkhurst Clark).
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Credits
Acknowledgments
Prologue: Writing Revolutions 1
1 Paris: Place and Space of Revolution 11
2 Mapping the City 36
3 The Flaneur: The City and Its Discontents 80
4 Haussmann's Paris and the Revolution of Representation 115
5 The Terrible Years 152
6 Judgments of Paris 195
Notes 231
Index 259
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