In this Book

summary

Robert Darnton, Roger Chartier, and others have written much on the history of reading in the Old Regime, but this is the first broad study of reading to focus on the period after 1800. How and why did people understand texts as they did in modern France? In answering this question, James Allen moves easily from one interpretive framework to another and draws on a wide range of sources--novels, diaries, censor reports, critical reviews, artistic images, accounts of public and private readings, and the letters that readers sent to authors about their books. As he analyzes reading "in the public eye," the author explores the formation of "interpretive communities" during the years when reading silently and alone gradually became more common than reading aloud in a group. In the Public Eye discusses printing, publishing, literacy, schooling, criticism, and censorship, to study the social, cultural, economic, and political forces that shaped French interpretive practice. Examining the art and act of reading by different audiences, it discloses the mentalities of literate people for whom few other historical records exist. The book will be essential reading for those interested in modern French history, post-structuralist literary theory and criticism, reader-response theory and criticism, and social and intellectual history in general.

Originally published in 1991.

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Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Quote
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. List of Illustrations
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. List of Tables
  2. pp. xi-xii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xiii-xiv
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  1. Abbreviations
  2. pp. xv-xviii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 3-24
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  1. Part I: The Historical Context
  2. pp. 25-26
  1. 1. The Printed Word
  2. pp. 27-54
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  1. 2. A Literate Society
  2. pp. 55-82
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  1. 3. The Politics of Reception
  2. pp. 83-110
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  1. 4. Cultural Mentalities
  2. pp. 111-140
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  1. Part II: Historical Interpretive Practices: The Art of Reading
  2. pp. 141-142
  1. 5. Artistic Images
  2. pp. 143-176
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  1. 6. In the Novel
  2. pp. 177-198
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  1. 7. Journals and Memoirs
  2. pp. 199-224
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  1. Part III: Historical Interpretive Practices: The Act of Reading
  2. pp. 225-226
  1. 8. From Noble Sentiment to Personal Sensibility
  2. pp. 227-249
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  1. 9. Responses to Genre
  2. pp. 250-274
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  1. 10. Reading the Novel
  2. pp. 275-302
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  1. Conclusion
  2. pp. 303-320
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  1. Appendix: Tables
  2. pp. 321-338
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  1. Selected Bibliography of Archival Sources
  2. pp. 339-342
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 343-356
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781400862313
MARC Record
OCLC
889251460
Pages
382
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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