Farce and Fantasy

Farce and Fantasy : Popular Entertainment in Eighteenth Century Paris

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This book takes its readers through the streets and fairs of eighteenth-century Paris--from cafes to boulevard theaters, and even to freak shows--on a lively investigation of various forms of entertainment, the people who enjoyed them, and the reasons for their popularity. Entertainment in eighteenth-century Paris was far more than mere diversion, argues Isherwood. It was a vital way for people to explore their fantasies. Using an imaginative array of sources, Farce and Fantasy describes the public's subliminal search for sex, pathos, brutality, and absurdity through certain types of entertainment, and shows how the lower classes often used entertainment to poke fun at the elite. Isherwood also examines the differences--and similarities--between popular and elite culture, arguing that street fairs in particular represented the convergence of significant aspects of the two cultures. Throughout, the book's carefully researched illustrations bring to life pre-revolutionary France through the eyes of its people.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 162.05 x 242.82 x 28.7mm | 789.25g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • Illustrations, music
  • 0195036484
  • 9780195036480

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