collection which Darnton has so successfully mined over the years. Some of them incidentally, is the chapter dealing with the great cat massacre, which as. THE GREAT. CAT MASSACRE. AND OTHER EPISODES. IN FRENCH. CULTURAL HISTORY. Robert Darnton. BASIC. B. BOOKS. A Member of the Perseus. The literature itself, Darnton asserts that when analysing popu- like all literature The Great Cat Massacre of Rue Saint-Séverin10 past always contains a ‘silent.

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The Interpretation of Cultures. May 29, Leif Erik rated it really liked it Shelves: This means that anthropology can only be partially applied cal historian, there is much to be found to history.

The great cat massacre and other episodes in French cultural history

Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. And there’s no discussion, really, that women may have been involved in the transmission of stories, except in telling them to the men who wrote them down.

It is the one that he describes as most ‘impressionistic’ and I get the feeling he feels almost guilty over it, and certainly worries that it appears least to rely on evidence.

The title essay was good as well. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Textbook for a French Revolution class I’m taking. Mar 13, Ricardo Conte rated it it was amazing. It is evident from the in the printing trade, which he had been text that infrastructural changes were lead- involved in throughout his working life.

The Great Cat Massacre – Wikipedia

The tices would have struck a chord with the journeymen were unhappy at their loss of literate working class who had endured status in the workplace, lack of job security their own apprenticeships. For instance, consider the chapter about the Ca procession of dignitaries. Nov 15, Stephanie rated it geeat was ok. The book contains five chapters loosely interwoven sarnton an attempt to carve out this special niche in historiography. It’s all down hill for me from that point on. Darnton tries to pin down cultural change as the oral tradition segued into literary, and by examining in depth certain events, draws conclusions about life at the bottom of the social rungs of society.


This is an enterprise in ethnographic history. Really well written, although a bit long-winded at times, as if the author had way too much research to actually compress into a readable article and had to laundry-list the information at times to squeeze it all in. As the author states, finding something that doesn’t make sense to us what is so funny greatt putting local cats on trial and hanging them? To ask other readers questions about The Great Cat Massaceeplease sign up.

Cambridge University Adrnton, Enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll email you a reset link. One of them involves a girl going to have sex with two men so she can make her mind up which one she wants.

Darnton is an intelligent and engaging writer, and the three standout essays in the collection are more than worth the price of admission. He might be a gentleman, a priest, a lawyer or a lackey.

Historiographically speaking, the Great Cat Massacre is “old news”: As Darnton shows, this task requires a detailed contextual analysis of a given subject, alongside an acute reading of the particular source that has chosen as its representative. Post was not sent – check your email addresses! Darnton uses this source to show how the writings of certain popular authors, particularly Jean-Jacques Rousseau, influenced the way that a new generation of readers were interpreting the cultural milestones of their lives, such as falling in love, getting married, and bearing children.

Darnton concludes that this element—tricksterism—reflects a peasantry that is coping with an unpredictable era of Malthusian misery sans the morals and philosophy of the Enlightenment. Joseph d’Hemery was an inspector of the book trade. These were times in which children this is before the birth of childhood as we know it were subjected darntno backbreaking dawn-to-dusk labor reminiscent of Rumpelstiltskin ; in which peasants, unable to feed another child, were forced to abandon newborns Hansel and Gretel ; and, in a peculiar demography in which one of every five Norman men re-wed after the death msssacre his first wife, stories of stepmothers abounded Cinderella.

The appli- over their livelihoods. Darnton describes how, as the apprentices suffered hard conditions, they came to darntom the favours which their masters gave to their catsand contrived to deal with the nuisance cats by slaughtering them so as to distress their masters.

The issue of double-subjectivity also needs Thoth Harris I wonder if you actually read the book.


They of the virtuoso performance put in by are still disliked and distrusted by many some of the workers in the manipulating today. In the five years from to he wrote reports on any kind of writer that had published anything at all in Paris, from the most famous philosophes such as Voltaire and Diderot to the most danrton hacks, gfeat to turn out pieces of laudatory doggerel and gain the favour of the rich and influential.

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

In a sort of Rabelasian logic of social carnival, the journeymen saw the murder of the cats as retribution meted out for the wrongs perpetrated against them. This desire to re- There are a number of literary themes turn to a perceived golden age, real or not, common to the period to be found in the was common in all popular unrest in the story.

As such, the meant to someone in the Sixteenth Century conlict can be seen as a conlict between carried the same meaning to someone liv- the two liminal elements associated with ing in the Eighteenth. Pages to import images to Wikidata. But he did not possess a greah or condition that set him part from nonwriters. The next chapters are about an anonymous description of Montpellier, a police inspector’s records of writers breat Paris, D’Alembert’s Discourse preliminaire to the Encyclopedie and finally the letters of Rousseau’s fans.

Although this title is useful as a shocking and curious hook, it elevates what might be the weakest chapter of the entire collection to the spotlight.

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

Essentially an attempt to dagnton the mindset of the French proletariat and petit bourgeoisie during the 18th century. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.

The Great Cat Massacre was one of the books that helped me overcome my aversion to reading about history I Claudius was another.