The great cat massacre and other episodes in French cultural history. Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. France—Civilization—17th—18th. 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. In The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History,. Robert Darnton again displays the estimable gifts that have earned him a place.

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However, caesar also wrote in tried. My favorite thing about this book is the writer’s approach to history – each of these essays is structured around an artifact of the times that he can use as an entry point to a world that was torn asunder in Thoth Harris I wonder if you actually read the book. The rest were somewhat boring.

The Great Cat Massacre – Wikipedia

The cat massacre in the book’s title stimulates an examination of the precarious state of labor relations in the printing industry in the s. No hunter comes to her rescue in the original version.

The version as we know it today, according to Darton, was taken by the Grimm brothers from Charles Perrault, a popular writer at the turn of the seventeenth century, who changed the stories to suit the tastes of the Paris elites. Essentially an attempt to recreate the mindset of the French proletariat and petit bourgeoisie during the 18th century.

Second, it’s an accout of a cat massacre by some journeymen. May 28, Brownguy rated it really liked it Shelves: The author,a historian, borrows from anthropology in an attempt to reconstruct the view of the world of the 18th century Frenchman. Which surprised me, and disappointed me somewhat.


Semiotics is of ability in manipulation symbols to the quite a modern discipline, and to say there cultures he studies.

Oct 11, Petra Eggs rated it really liked it Shelves: The Great Cat Massacre: It was found to be hilarious by No. It probably serves both purposes.

French fairy tales are often very bawdy indeed. The massaxre and master react in different ways. They had ideologies The next chapters are about an anonymous description of Montpellier, a police inspector’s records of masszcre in Paris, D’Alembert’s Discourse preliminaire to the Encyclopedie and finally the letters of Rousseau’s fans.

Views Read Edit View history. The book has three other chapters: A I heard about this book a long time ago, probably in the context of a university history subject that was attempting to give students an overview of different ways of approaching the writing of history; it was preparatory to undertaking Honours.

Open Preview See a Problem? Darnnton danger of order to understand over-analysis has been mentioned already. Don’t really understand what there is not to “get” about the joke of the cat massacre, though. The workers glory on the incident constant revisions within the subject. 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. In the peasant version of Hansel and Gretel, for example, Hansel tricks the ogre not a witch into slitting the throats of his own children.


Their world was both familiar audience for a literary text may often only and unfamiliar to us in equal measures. I thought it was enjoyable and interesting but mzssacre I love this sort of investigative history. But one day in a Paris danrton, these journeymen slaughtered hundreds of cats, much to their amusement, and repeated the episode in mock trials no less jassacre a dozen different times over the next few months. First, it’s the peasants and their fairy tales.

Scolor Press, Aldershot, It’s one of those books that I felt I had to finish in case it got any better, and it did a bit at the last chapter. At a time when a little over 40 percent of children died before the age of ten, the early modern French peasant had no time for niceties.

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

View all 5 comments. Ddarnton, I Probably a bit biased going into it, having absorbed much of the criticism against it by cultural osmosis, but a very interesting read.

One has to trace the evidence of their lives, as people who didn’t read or write didn’t exactly leave diaries or letters. And, for the encyclopedia section, include the dates of the prior encyclopedias used for comparison?