×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

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

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

3.6 5
by Robert Darnton
 

See All Formats & Editions

"In this dazzling series of essays, Robert Darnton exhumes the strange and wonderful world views of the ordinary and extraordinary people inhabiting the cities, towns, and countryside of France in what"

Overview

"In this dazzling series of essays, Robert Darnton exhumes the strange and wonderful world views of the ordinary and extraordinary people inhabiting the cities, towns, and countryside of France in what"

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780465015566
Publisher:
Perseus Publishing
Publication date:
02/28/2000
Series:
Basic Books Classics Series
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.94(h) x 0.77(d)
Lexile:
1320L (what's this?)

Meet the Author


Robert Darnton is Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and Director of the Harvard University Library. A MacArthur Fellow, he is the author of the National Book Critics Circle award-winning The Forbidden Best-Sellers of Pre-Revolutionary France. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

The Great Cat Massacre: And Other Episodes in French Cultural History 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this to be a charming and well-written book. It is based on a series of short stories that deals and illuminates the France of the late 1700 to modern readers without being pedantic. Darnton manages to write this in a humorous and entertaining way, while including historical data. It has helped me to understand French literature, culture and history. 'The Great Cat Massacre' is about how apprentices weren't treated very well, while the Madam had pampered cats. The apprentices snuck out on the roof and yowled like cats over the master's bedroom. Finally, the master told them to get rid of the cats, while he and his wife were gone. The apprentices killed lots of cats, starting with the wife's favorite. In spite of the grim subject, Darnton uses humor and lively language to explain how the apprentices were often ill-fed, and they had to watch the wife give her cats choice morsels. It also explains the strict guild rules that limited social mobility. Another chapter is the different interpretations of fairy tales by different cultures. We're all familiar with the dark German fairy tales, and I knew some French fairy tales but I wasn't aware of how their meanings had changed through cultural interpretation until I read this book. Darnton explains that the quick wit of the hero is the deciding factor in French fairy tales, while the English use magical intervention. Another chapter is on police reports about authors (trouble makers), booksellers and, even, book buyers, which made most university students suspect. I'm glad that I bought this bookbecause it has helped me to be a better reader and to think outside of the box, while being entertained.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book, while often entertaining, isn¿t written to please the masses. It develops ideas in an almost ridiculously slow fashion. However, the knowledge that one can gain from this author is amazing. The fairy tales give a previously unknown insight into the thoughts of French peasants, the Cat massacre itself plays out the peasant¿s relationship with the bourgeois, and explanations of Rousseau provide a caricature of the 18th century French intellectual. This may sound trivial nevertheless, the mentalities explained build the framework for one of the most influential historical events of all time: the French Revolution. Understanding the ¿why¿ of these events, while often impossible, can only be achieved through the thorough analysis of the way people thought. Darnton does this more than adequately.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This has to be the worst book that I have ever read. It presents topics that we could care less about, goes into depth on them (75 pages on French fairy tales? who cares?),and then takes sidetracks on random topics that are as equally boring as the point the author is trying to make. The book has no flow to it whatsoever it jumps around touching on multiple points but never really enlightens the reader about what the author is trying to say. If you even think about picking up this book, just don't. Save yourself the time, money, and from the mental boredom that this book will impose on you.