Catalogue


Revolutionary acts : theater, democracy, and the French Revolution /
Susan Maslan.
imprint
Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, c2005.
description
xii, 275 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0801881250 (hardcover : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, c2005.
isbn
0801881250 (hardcover : alk. paper)
contents note
Resisting representation : theater and democracy in revolutionary France -- The comic revolution : Molire, Rousseau, Fabre d'Eglantine, and revolutionary antitheatricalism -- Robespierre's eye : revolutionary surveillance and the modern republican subject -- The home and the world : surveillance and revolutionary drama.
catalogue key
5496289
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 253-266) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Susan Maslan is an associate professor of French at the University of California, Berkeley
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2006-02-01:
The distinction between "dramatic" and "theatrical" was key in the politics of the French Revolution. Since "theatrical" recalled the Old Regime's reliance on appearances to disguise its hypocrisy about injustice, Robespierre sought various means to instill citizens with faith in the "dramatic" representation of their government in the National Assembly. Maslan (Univ. of California, Berkeley) exposes the plays of France in the 1790s as leading the way in exemplifying the dramatic representation of popular sovereignty in democracy. The audiences of the time were involved in critiquing the plays. The National Assembly had a gallery where citizens observed their representatives enacting laws and otherwise carrying on the business of government. The playwrights, led by Marie-Joseph Chenier and Fabre d'Englantine, were involved in the stakes of political representation. Maslan aptly situates Rousseau's Lettre a d'Alembert sur les spectacles in the controversy about popular sovereignty as surveillance, sincerity, and publicity became crucial criteria for his views of both theater and politics. The argument for the place of surveillance in the Revolution applies and expands Foucault's seminal arguments. Making this case for theater as propaganda, Maslan provides elaborate details in the endnotes and translations for all the French citations. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. R. A. Champagne Trinity University
Reviews
Review Quotes
Ambitious, insightful, and engaging study.
"Ambitious, insightful, and engaging study." -- Thomas Wynn, French Studies
In its bold and compelling arguments and its subtle textual analyses, Maslan's study is... one of the most important and innovative books on revolutionary theater published in recent years. It makes an important contribution not only to the study of literature but also to the understanding of the history and political culture of the period.
"In its bold and compelling arguments and its subtle textual analyses, Maslan's study is... one of the most important and innovative books on revolutionary theater published in recent years. It makes an important contribution not only to the study of literature but also to the understanding of the history and political culture of the period." -- Elizabeth Amann, Brecht Yearbook
Maslan's thought-provoking book makes a distinctive contribution to the understanding of the literary and cultural history of the French Revolution.
"Maslan's thought-provoking book makes a distinctive contribution to the understanding of the literary and cultural history of the French Revolution." -- Modern Language Review
"Maslan's thought-provoking book makes a distinctive contribution to the understanding of the literary and cultural history of the French Revolution." -- Radosveta Getova, Modern Language Review
Original and thoughtful work... offers great originality, creativity, thoughtfulness and erudition.
"Original and thoughtful work... offers great originality, creativity, thoughtfulness and erudition." -- Gregory S. Brown, H-France
Revolutionary Acts is most successful as a series of creative, highly historicized... readings of the performances and reception of a handful of plays from 1780 to 1795.
"Revolutionary Acts is most successful as a series of creative, highly historicized... readings of the performances and reception of a handful of plays from 1780 to 1795." -- Jeffrey Ravel, Journal of Modern History
A thoughtful and sophisticated study that promises to join an extremely influential body of work on the political culture of the French Revolution which, like Lynn Hunt's Politics, Culture, and Class in the French Revolution and Mona Ozouf's Festivals and the French Revolution, has had a significant impact across disciplinary and chronological boundaries.
"A thoughtful and sophisticated study that promises to join an extremely influential body of work on the political culture of the French Revolution which, like Lynn Hunt's Politics, Culture, and Class in the French Revolution and Mona Ozouf's Festivals and the French Revolution, has had a significant impact across disciplinary and chronological boundaries."--Laura Mason, University of Georgia
Maslan's work is concerned with three major interrelated themes, the tension between representative and direct democracy, antitheatricalism, and surveillance as a means of guarding and preserving the Republic. These concerns take her study far beyond the specific matter of the theatre of the French Revolution, into matters of central importance in European cultural and political history. The scope and depth of Maslan's work and the original critical insight that she brings makes this an important contribution to the cultural study of early modern France and the history of the French theatre.
"Maslan's work is concerned with three major interrelated themes, the tension between representative and direct democracy, antitheatricalism, and surveillance as a means of guarding and preserving the Republic. These concerns take her study far beyond the specific matter of the theatre of the French Revolution, into matters of central importance in European cultural and political history. The scope and depth of Maslan's work and the original critical insight that she brings makes this an important contribution to the cultural study of early modern France and the history of the French theatre." -- Marvin Carlson, City University of New York
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, February 2006
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Back Cover Copy
Examining the production, performance, and reception of Parisian plays between 1789 and 1794, Maslan shows how theater played a pivotal role in Revolutionary France and sheds new light on two issues central to the political cultures of Paris and France: the nature of political representation and the correlative problem of transparency and its relation to theatricality.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Susan Maslan demonstrates how theatre played a pivotal role in revolutionary France, positioning the theatrical stage as a battleground on which the people of Paris and the government fought for municipal control.
Main Description
In Revolutionary Acts Susan Maslan shows how theater played a pivotal role in Revolutionary France, positioning the theatrical stage as a battleground on which the people of Paris and the government fought for municipal control. Examining the production, performance, and reception of Parisian plays between 1789 and 1794, Maslan sheds new light on two issues central to the political cultures of Paris and France: the nature of political representation -- specifically the problematic relationship between direct democracy and representative democracy -- and the correlative problem of transparency and its relation to theatricality. While traditional scholarship emphasizes the influence of newspapers and books on the French Revolution, Maslan's erudite analysis reveals the rich and powerful impact of theater on France's fledgling democracy.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
Resisting Representation: Theater and Democracy in Revolutionary Francep. 25
The Comic Revolution: Moliere, Rousseau, Fabre d'Eglantine, and Revolutionary Antitheatricalismp. 74
Robespierre's Eye: Revolutionary Surveillance and the Modern Republican Subjectp. 125
The Home and the World: Domestic Surveillance and Revolutionary Dramap. 183
Notesp. 217
Bibliographyp. 253
Indexp. 267
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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