Theatre, Politics, and Markets in Fin-de-Siècle Paris: Staging Modernity (Palgrave Studies in Theatre and Performance History)

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9781403970411: Theatre, Politics, and Markets in Fin-de-Siècle Paris: Staging Modernity (Palgrave Studies in Theatre and Performance History)

Since the Enlightenment, French theatre has occupied a prominent place within French thought, society and culture, but as a subject of study it has remained a purview of theatre historians, literary scholars and aestheticians. They focus on the emergence of the modern theatre as change generated from within bourgeois literary drama but ignore theatre as a complex social practice. Theatre, Politics, and Markets in Fin-de-Siècle Paris investigates the dynamic relationships among the avant-garde, official culture and the commercial sphere, arguing against the neat divide of 'high' and 'low' culture by showing how cultural forms of varying social origins influenced each other.

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"An avant-garde theater crystallized in late nineteenth-century France, a theater of social and psychological engagement, most often associated with the names of Antoine and Lugne-Poe. Sally Charnow approaches the phenomenon with a wide-angle lens which embraces, not just the aesthetic, but also the political and social contexts in which the new theater emerged. This is not a theater history of the hermetic sort, but one that opens the subject to readers of all kinds who share Charnow's passion for the variety and creativity of the French fin-de-siecle scene."--Philip Nord, Professor of History, Princeton University
"Given the importance of the theatre in French culture, it is surprising that historians have devoted little attention to its role in shaping national life. Sally Charnow's "Theatre, Politics, and Markets in Fin-de-Siecle ""Paris"" "is thus an important and welcome contribution to the field. Charnow examines both the aesthetics of the modernist theatre and its politics against the backdrop of an emerging mass democracy and the concomitant development of commercial culture. Through her deft handling of literary and historical sources, she illustrates the fluidity between the seemingly opposing categories of avant-garde and commercial art; elite and 'popular' culture; regional and national identity. The result is a lively and fresh perspective on a key aspect of modern French culture."--Venita Datta, Associate Professor of French, Wellesley College

About the Author:

SALLY CHARNOW is Assistant Professor of History at Hofstra University, USA. Her articles have appeared in Women in Jewish Culture: Active Voices (University of Illinois Press, 1995), Radical History Review and Historical Reflections.

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