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The Literary Underground of the Old Regime…
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The Literary Underground of the Old Regime (utgåvan 1985)

av Robert Darnton (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
2183122,047 (4.1)3
Robert Darnton introduces us to the shadowy world of pirate publishers, garret scribblers, under-the-cloak book peddlers, smugglers, and police spies that composed the literary underground of the Enlightenment. Here are the ambitious writers who crowded into Paris seeking fame and fortune within the Republic of Letters, but who instead sank into the miserable world of Grub Street--victims of a closed world of protection and privilege. Venting their frustrations in an illicit literature of vitriolic pamphlets, libelles, and chroniques scandaleuses, these "Rousseaus of the gutter" desecrated everything sacred in the social order of the Old Regime. Here too are the workers who printed their writings and the clandestine booksellers who distributed them. While censorship, a monopolistic guild, and the police contained the visible publishing industry within the limits of official orthodoxies, a prolific literary underworld disseminated a vast illegal literature that conveyed a seditious ideology to readers everywhere in France. Covering their traces in order to survive, the creators of this eighteenth-century counterculture have virtually disappeared from history. By drawing on an ingenious selection of previously hidden sources, such as police ledgers and publishers' records, Robert Darnton reveals for the first time the fascinating story of that forgotten underworld. The activities of the underground bear on a broad range of issues in history and literature, and they directly concern the problem of uncovering the ideological origins of the French Revolution. This engaging book illuminates those issues and provides a fresh view of publishing history that will inform and delight the general reader.… (mer)
Medlem:fji65hj7
Titel:The Literary Underground of the Old Regime
Författare:Robert Darnton (Författare)
Info:Harvard University Press (1985), Edition: Reprint, 272 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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Taggar:Ingen/inga

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This study of the writing and publishing scene in France and nearby countries in the late 18th century is thoroughly engaging. Robert Darnton, a celebrated scholar, writes in a straightforward and delightful prose style, and his subject-matter is decidedly down-to-earth -- you will have no idea just how grubby Grub Street can be until you read this book. Sample choice bit that made me laugh out loud: "Charles Theveneau de Morande, one of Grub Street's most violent and virulent pamphleteers, lived in a demimonde of prostitutes, pimps, blackmailers, pickpockets, swindlers, and murderers. He tried his hand at more than one of these professions and gathered material for his pamphlets by skimming the scum around him. As a result, his works smeared everything, good and bad alike, with a spirit of such total depravity and alienation that Voltaire cried out in horror." ( )
  PatrickMurtha | Jan 28, 2011 |
In the mid-eighteenth century, “provincials flocked to Paris in search of glory, money, and the improved estate that seemed promised to any writer with sufficient talent. They did not necessarily share the motivations of the early philosophes, who were often nobles and clergymen enjoying enough leisure to write when the spirit moved them and who wrote before the time when ‘literature became a métier.’”

“Although publishers offered somewhat better terms than earlier in the century, authors were caught between the masters of the publishing bookselling guilds, who paid little for manuscripts, and pirate publishers, who paid nothing at all. None of the great mid-century philosophes relied much on sales except for Diderot, who never fully extricated himself from Grub Street. Mercier claimed that in his day only thirty hard-core ‘professionals’ supported themselves by writing. The open, ‘democratic’ market that could feed large numbers of enterprising authors did not appear in France until well into the nineteenth century. Before the day of the steam press and the mass reading public, writers lived by…scavenging along the road to riches…or they dropped by the wayside, in the gutter.”

“To explain why Grub Street had no exit and why its prisoners felt such hatred for the grands at the top it is necessary” to understand “that word…one meets everywhere in the Old Regime: privilege. Books themselves bore privileges granted by the grace of the king. Privileged guilds, whose organization showed the hand of Colbert himself, monopolized the production and distribution of the printed word. Privileged journals exploited royally granted monopolies. The privileged Comédie Française, Académie Royale de Musique, and Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture legally monopolized the stage, opera, and the plastic arts. The Académie Française restricted literary immortality to forty privileged individuals, while privileged bodies like the Académie des Sciences and the Société Royale de Médecine dominated the world of science. And above all these corps rose the supremely privileged cultural elite who kept le monde all to themselves.”
  profsuperplum | May 21, 2009 |
EURW/FRAN/France - History - Revolution, 1789-1799 - Causes/Underground literature - France/France - Causes - Revolution, 1789-1799
  SGSLibrary | Sep 10, 2010 |
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Dabekaussen, EugèneÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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Robert Darnton introduces us to the shadowy world of pirate publishers, garret scribblers, under-the-cloak book peddlers, smugglers, and police spies that composed the literary underground of the Enlightenment. Here are the ambitious writers who crowded into Paris seeking fame and fortune within the Republic of Letters, but who instead sank into the miserable world of Grub Street--victims of a closed world of protection and privilege. Venting their frustrations in an illicit literature of vitriolic pamphlets, libelles, and chroniques scandaleuses, these "Rousseaus of the gutter" desecrated everything sacred in the social order of the Old Regime. Here too are the workers who printed their writings and the clandestine booksellers who distributed them. While censorship, a monopolistic guild, and the police contained the visible publishing industry within the limits of official orthodoxies, a prolific literary underworld disseminated a vast illegal literature that conveyed a seditious ideology to readers everywhere in France. Covering their traces in order to survive, the creators of this eighteenth-century counterculture have virtually disappeared from history. By drawing on an ingenious selection of previously hidden sources, such as police ledgers and publishers' records, Robert Darnton reveals for the first time the fascinating story of that forgotten underworld. The activities of the underground bear on a broad range of issues in history and literature, and they directly concern the problem of uncovering the ideological origins of the French Revolution. This engaging book illuminates those issues and provides a fresh view of publishing history that will inform and delight the general reader.

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