Spectacular Realities

Spectacular Realities : Early Mass Culture in Fin-de-Siecle Paris

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Description

During the second half of the nineteenth century, Paris emerged as the entertainment capital of the world. The sparkling redesigned city fostered a culture of energetic crowd-pleasing and multi-sensory amusements that would apprehend and represent real life as spectacle. Vanessa R. Schwartz examines the explosive popularity of such phenomena as the boulevards, the mass press, public displays of corpses at the morgue, wax museums, panoramas, and early film. Drawing on a wide range of written and visual materials, including private and business archives, and working at the intersections of art history, literature, and cinema studies, Schwartz argues that "spectacular realities" are part of the foundation of modern mass society. She refutes the notion that modern life produced an unending parade of distractions leading to alienation, and instead suggests that crowds gathered not as dislocated spectators but as members of a new kind of crowd, one united in pleasure rather than protest.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 244 pages
  • 157.48 x 223.52 x 20.32mm | 362.87g
  • University of California Press
  • Berkerley, United States
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 50 b/w photographs, 1 map
  • 0520221680
  • 9780520221680
  • 614,511

Review quote

"Schwartz weaves a multilayered history of the evolution of mass entertainments in Paris during the 19th century. . . . An engrossing study."--F. Burkhard, "Choiceshow more

Flap copy

"An exciting, innovative, and significant work. The author points to how the crowd experience transcended class and gender divisions and was transformed from acts of collective violence into acts of collective consumption."--Michael B. Miller, author of Shanghai on the Metroshow more

Back cover copy

"An exciting, innovative, and significant work. The author points to how the crowd experience transcended class and gender divisions and was transformed from acts of collective violence into acts of collective consumption."--Michael B. Miller, author of "Shanghai on the Metroshow more

About Vanessa R. Schwartz

Vanessa R. Schwartz is Associate Professor of History at the University of Southern California and coeditor of Cinema and the Invention of Modern Life (California, 1995).show more

Rating details

88 ratings
3.86 out of 5 stars
5 24% (21)
4 45% (40)
3 24% (21)
2 7% (6)
1 0% (0)
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