Publishing and Cultural Politics in Revolutionary Paris by Carla Hesse

By Carla Hesse

In 1789 French revolutionaries initiated a cultural test that substantially reworked the main uncomplicated parts of French literary civilizationauthorship, printing, and publishing. In a breathtaking research, Carla Hesse tells how the Revolution shook the Parisian printing and publishing global from most sensible to backside, freeing the exchange from absolutist associations and inaugurating a free-market trade of principles. Historians and literary critics have regularly seen the French Revolution as a disaster for French literary tradition. Combing via broad new archival assets, Hesse unearths as an alternative that revolutionaries deliberately dismantled the elite literary civilization of the outdated Regime to create extraordinary entry to the published observe. Exploring the uncharted terrains of renowned fiction, authors' rights, and literary existence below the phobia, Carla Hesse bargains a brand new point of view at the dating among democratic revolutions and smooth cultural lifestyles.

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Extra resources for Publishing and Cultural Politics in Revolutionary Paris

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MM. [170] The king thus succeeded in averting an immediate and total collapse of the old elites of the Paris Book Guild. The monarchy, after all, needed their presses and markets. Retaining cultural power was crucial to the fate of the regime. [171] The Révolutions de Paris was quick to elucidate the broader implications of this royal act of cultural patronage: On August 4, the king stood security for the funds on the civil list for the associated booksellers in the amount of 1,200,000 livres .

The source of the problem lay in the allegiance of many prominent guild members to a system of cultural production and a literary civilization that were both rapidly becoming obsolete. The economic crisis in the guild was, in that sense, a symptom of cultural revolution. "[175] Within a few years, the Revolution had swept their way of life and the culture it produced into the past. The stock of the most prominent publishers of Paris—spiritual, legal, pedagogical, and historical—lost its commercial value as nouveautés and lumières flooded the capital.

Pierre could not prove that the copies were unauthorized and required him to pay the court costs. St. [31] The court ordered Prieur to pay a fine "prescribed by the law," but it did not say what law. In fact, no law protecting literary property existed until July 19, 1793. These cases suggest, however, that the principle of the property rights of living authors was upheld by both the police and the local courts in the absence of national legislation or regulation. They also reveal that in the absence of guild surveillance, pirating was easy and prosecution both difficult and costly.

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