In the Public Eye: A History of Reading in Modern France, by James Smith Allen

By James Smith Allen

Robert Darnton, Roger Chartier, and others have written a lot at the background of studying within the outdated Regime, yet this can be the 1st large learn of interpreting to target the interval after 1800. How and why did humans comprehend texts as they did in glossy France? In answering this question, James Allen strikes simply from one interpretive framework to a different and attracts on a variety of sources--novels, diaries, censor experiences, serious studies, creative pictures, bills of private and non-private readings, and the letters that readers despatched to authors approximately their books. As he analyzes studying "in the general public eye," the writer explores the formation of "interpretive communities" in the course of the years whilst analyzing silently and by myself steadily turned extra universal than interpreting aloud in a gaggle. within the Public Eye discusses printing, publishing, literacy, education, feedback, and censorship, to review the social, cultural, monetary, and political forces that formed French interpretive perform. interpreting the artwork and act of studying via assorted audiences, it discloses the mentalities of literate humans for whom few different ancient files exist. The publication could be crucial analyzing for these drawn to glossy French heritage, post-structuralist literary concept and feedback, reader-response concept and feedback, and social and highbrow historical past in general.

Originally released in 1991.

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Extra info for In the Public Eye: A History of Reading in Modern France, 1800-1940

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What did their reading mean to them and why? , Literacy, Society, and Schooling: A Reader (Cambridge, 1986), 61-86; Eric A. Havelock, The Muse Learns to Write: Reflections on Orality and Literacy from Antiquity to the Present (New Haven, 1986); and the bibliography in David R. , Literacy, Language, and Learning: The Nature and Consequences of Reading and Writing INTRODUCTION 23 This book also shares in the scholarly definition of an entirely new field in intellectual history, a field focused on readers and their interpretive practices rather than on authors and their texts.

See Mistier, La Librairie Hachette, 9-210; A. , Les Editions Fernand Nathan ont cent cms 1881-1981 (1981); and HEF 3:416-42. , Catalogue gan4ral, vol. 8. 3549, cited in Mistier, La Librairie Hachette, 125. 26 34 THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT in printing, binding, and distributing. This expansion led eventually to the establishment of the Messageries Hachette, the largest distribution agency in France. By 1932, the markets for both books and newspapers were coordinated under the management of the most important publisher in twentiethcentury Europe.

Few of these alternatives to the marketplace provided the kind of independence that the successful sale of manuscripts to newspapers, journals, and publishers did. In fact, 28 See accounts in Gustave Vapereau, Dictionnaire universel des contemporains, 5th ed. (1893). 29 See John Lough, Writer and Public in France from the Middle Ages to the Present Day (Oxford, 1978), 275-399; Christophe Charle, La Crise litturaire a I'epoque du naturalisme. Roman, theatre, et politique. Essai d'histoire sociale des groupes et des genres litttraires (1979), 27-54; M.

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