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Poetry and the Police : Communication Networks in Eighteenth-century Paris (Hardcover)

Author: Darnton, Robert

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Product Overview

In Spring 1749, Francois 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 semiliterate society.

This lucid and entertaining book reveals both the importance of oral exchanges in the history of communication and the power of "viral" networks long before our internet age.

Specifications

Publisher Belknap Pr
Mfg Part# 9780674057159
SKU 214873601
Format Hardcover
ISBN10 0674057155
Release Date 11/15/2010
Product Attributes
Book Format Hardcover
Number of Pages 0224
Publisher Belknap Press
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