Paris as Revolution: Writing the Nineteenth-Century City

Paris as Revolution: Writing the Nineteenth-Century City

by Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson


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Paris as Revolution: Writing the Nineteenth-Century City by Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson

In nineteenth-century Paris, passionate involvement with revolution turned the city into an engrossing object of cultural speculation. For writers caught between an explosive past and a bewildering future, revolution offered a virtuoso metaphor by which the city could be known and a vital principle through which it could be portrayed.

In this engaging book, Priscilla Ferguson locates the originality and modernity of nineteenth-century French literature in the intersection of the city with revolution. A cultural geography, Paris as Revolution "reads" the nineteenth-century city not in literary works alone but across a broad spectrum of urban icons and narratives. Ferguson moves easily between literary and cultural history and between semiotic and sociological analysis to underscore the movement and change that fueled the powerful narratives defining the century, the city, and their literature.
In her understanding and reconstruction of the guidebooks of Mercier, Hugo, Vallès, and others, alongside the novels of Flaubert, Hugo, Vallès, and Zola, Ferguson reveals that these works are themselves revolutionary performances, ones that challenged the modernizing city even as they transcribed its emergence.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520086425
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 11/23/1994
Pages: 267
Product dimensions: 9.21(w) x 6.22(h) x (d)

About 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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