Poetry and the Police Communication Networks in Eighteenth-Century Paris

ISBN-10: 0674066049

ISBN-13: 9780674066045

Edition: 2010

List price: $19.50 Buy it from $17.13
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Listen to "An Electronic Cabaret: Paris Street Songs, 1748–50" for songs from Poetry and the PoliceAudio recording copyright © 2010 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved.In spring 1749, François Bonis, a medical student in Paris, found himself unexpectedly hauled off to the Bastille for distributing an “abominable poem about the king.” So began the Affair of the Fourteen, a police crackdown on ordinary citizens for unauthorized poetry recitals. Why was the official response to these poems so intense?In this captivating book, Robert Darnton follows the poems as they passed through several media: copied on scraps of paper, dictated from one person to another, memorized and declaimed to an audience. But the most effective dispersal occurred through music, when poems were sung to familiar tunes. Lyrics often referred to current events or revealed popular attitudes toward the royal court. The songs provided a running commentary on public affairs, and Darnton brilliantly traces how the lyrics fit into song cycles that carried messages through the streets of Paris during a period of rising discontent. He uncovers a complex communication network, illuminating the way information circulated in a semi-literate society.This lucid and entertaining book reminds us of both the importance of oral exchanges in the history of communication and the power of “viral” networks long before our internet age.
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Book details

List price: $19.50
Copyright year: 2010
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 9/3/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 240
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.484
Language: English

Robert Darnton is the Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and the director of the University Library at Harvard University. His honors include a MacArthur Prize, the National Humanities Medal, and election to the French Legion of Honor. He is the author of The Great Cat Massacre and The Forbidden Bestsellers of Pre-Revolutionary France, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Heacute;legrave;ne Delavault studied at the Paris Conservatoire and The Julliard School, has sung in operas and operettas, and has also created her own cabarets, including an exploration of the world of bawdy songs in eighteenth-century France.

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