Village of the Cannibals : Rage and Murder in France, 1870
An examination of the events of the 16th August 1870 in a small village in the Dordogne, when a young nobleman was tortured at a local fair, then burned alive in the presence of several hundred peasants who had accused him of having shouted "Vive la Repubique!". When night fell, the crowd dispersed, boasting that they had "roasted a Prussian". Some expressed regret at not having inflicted the same punishment on the parish priest. Corbin examines the events of that day, together with the circumstances which led up to them, focusing on the behaviour and psychological state of those involved. He discusses the role of rumour in the atrocity and penetrates the minds of the participants to find out why their suppressed anxiety exploded into an irrepressible rage that nothing short of murder could quell. Corbin continues by analyzing the ritual of the popular execution, the place of the victim and the torturers in the local community, together with the image of the Prussian as a hate-figure.
- Hardback | 230 pages
- 166.9 x 231.9 x 28.2mm | 716.67g
- 11 Jun 1992
- Polity Press
- Oxford, United Kingdom
Table of contents
A consistency of sentiment; anxiety and rumour; the celebration of murder; monstrous brutes; conclusion; Sophocles; the political foundations of Classicism.