Realms of Memory: The Construction of the French Past (Volume 2)

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Overview

Archives, monuments, celebrations:there are not merely the recollections of memory but also the foundations of history. Symbols, the third and final volume in Pierre Nora's monumental Realms of Memory, includes groundbreaking discussions of the emblems of France's past by some of the nation's most distinguished intellectuals. The seventeen essays in this book consider such diverse "sites" of memory as the figures of Joan D'Arc and Decartes, the national motto of "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity", the tricolor flag and the French language itself. Pierre Nora's closing essay on commemoration provides a culminating overview of the series. Offering a new approach on history, culture, French studies and the studies of symbols, Realms of Memory reveals how the myriad meanings we attach to places and events constitute our sense of history.

Volume 1: Winner of the 1996 French-American Foundation Translation Award

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Editorial Reviews

Foreign Affairs

This is an indispensable guide to understanding France and the French. As usual, Arthur Goldhammer's translation is superb.

Chicago Tribune

This unusual book deals fascinatingly with everything from the creation of the rousing anthem "La Marseillaise" to the changing role of Joan of Arc in France's collective memory. Even the Eiffel Tower shines forth in surprising new facets.

Lingua Franca

Provides arresting genealogies of a number of the major cleavages in French history, with chapters on the embattled relationship of Jews to the French republic, the peculiar affinities of Gaulism and Communism, and... Paris' haughty condescension toward la province.... Without resorting to polemics, the volume reminds us that the image of the French past is confected as much out of amnesia as out of memory.

Times Literary Supplement

A magisterial attempt to define what it is to be French.

The New Republic

A magnificent achievement.... [The essays included] are the high-carat jewels of the project.

Chicago Tribune
This unusual book deals fascinatingly with everything from the creation of the rousing anthem "La Marseillaise" to the changing role of Joan of Arc in France's collective memory. Even the Eiffel Tower shines forth in surprising new facets.
New Republic
A magnificent achievement.... [The essays included] are the high-carat jewels of the project.
Times Literary Supplement
A magisterial attempt to define what it is to be French.
Foreign Affairs
This is an indispensable guide to understanding France and the French. As usual, Arthur Goldhammer's translation is superb.
Lingua Franca
Provides arresting genealogies of a number of the major cleavages in French history, with chapters on the embattled relationship of Jews to the French republic, the peculiar affinities of Gaulism and Communism, and . . . Paris' haughty condescension toward la province . . . . Without resorting to polemics, the volume reminds us that the image of the French past is confected as much out of amnesia as out of memory.
Booknews
This second of three volumes on French history explores how and why events and figures become part of a people's collective memory, looking at elements of French history and culture instrumental in the development of a common national identity. Section I examines land, cathedral, and court and their expression of the cultural and artistic genius of the French sensibility. Section II analyzes distinctive characteristics associated with the image of France, with material on religion, language, war memorials, the Tour de France, street names, and gastronomy. Concludes with readings of exemplary texts in the French tradition, by authors such as Marcel Proust and Ernest Lavisse. Includes b&w photos and illustrations. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Lawrence Kritzman is the Pat and John Rosenwald Research Professor in the Arts and Sciences and Professor of French and Comparative Literature at Dartmouth. He is the series editor of our European Perspectives series and the editor of Politics, Philosophy, Culture: Interviews and Other Writings, 1977-1984 by Michel Foucault (Routledge, 1990). His publications include: The Rhetoric of Sexuality and the Literature of the French Renaissance (Cambridge, 1991), Auschwitz and After: Race, Culture, and "the Jewish Question" in France (Routledge, 1994), and several monographs published in French (French Forum Publishers).

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Table of Contents

Introduction - Pierre Nora

Part I: Emblems1. The Three Colors: Neither White nor Red, Raoul Girardet2. La Marseillaise: War or Peace, Michel Vovelle3. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, Mona Ozouf4. Bastille Day: From Dies Irae to Holiday, Christian Almavi

Part II: Major Sites1. Lascaux, Jean-Paul Demoule2. Reims, City of Coronation, Jacques Le Goff3. The Louvre, Royal Residence and Temple of the Arts, Jean-Pierre Babelon4. Versailles, the Image of the Sovereign, Edouard Pommier5. The Pantheon, The Ecole Normale of the Dead, Mona Ozouf6. The Eiffel Tower, Henry Loyette7. Verdun, Antoine Prost

Part III: Identifications1. The Gallic Cock, Michael Pastoureau2. Joan of Arc, Michael Winock3. Descartes, Francois Azouvi4. Paris, A Traversal from East to West, Maurice Agulhon5. The Genius of the French Language, Marc Fumaroli6. The Era of Commemoration, Pierre Nora

Notes Index of NamesIndex of Subjects

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