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Spectacular Realities: Early Mass Culture in Fin-de-Siecle Paris Paperback – August 3, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0520221680 ISBN-10: 0520221680 Edition: 1st

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Spectacular Realities: Early Mass Culture in Fin-de-Siecle Paris + The Painting of Modern Life: Paris in the Art of Manet and his Followers
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Editorial Reviews

Review

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

From the Inside Flap

"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 Métro
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 243 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 1st edition (August 3, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520221680
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520221680
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #709,680 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
i read this book for my history class(i am a college student) on european cultural/intellectual history. The author provides you with amazingingly creative and sharp insights on how visual images played a vital role in constructing a new modern metropolitan culture in the late nineteenth century Paris. It is not a book that just rambles about what's "cool" about Paris unlike many other books; it offers a very convincing and methodical explanation and observation on French culture at the trun of the century. If you love Paris, READ THIS BOOK!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ronald Angelo Johnson on June 4, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reading Vanessa Schwartz's brilliant work Spectacular Realities: Early Mass Culture in Fin-de-Siècle Paris, one can get the feeling that the late nineteenth-century Parisian popular press was as omnipresent as the modern-day paparazzi. Throughout her enchanting narrative of the institutions and behaviors of an evolving mass culture, Schwartz characterizes the news consumption of a newly-literate population from the emerging print media as a key component to the identification of residents and visitors in fin de siècle Paris. The importance of print to Paris's cultural evolution does not preclude significant influences of visual media. In fact, Spectacular Realities argues that the creation and representation of Parisian society "relied on the explicit connection between written and visual texts." Schwartz's driving logic is that "a culture that became 'more literate' also became more visual as word and image generated the spectacular realities described" (3).

The book begins with a well-crafted introduction that locates the author's position contra the historical literature emphasizing written or visual texts as opposed cultural forms. Schwartz promptly introduces her post-modern view that "any history is a history of representation" (4) and she succinctly acquaints the reader with the work's star actors (the press, the boulevards, the morgue, the wax museum, panorama, and cinema).
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By Alex on January 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A historically contextual analysis of certain aspects of late nineteenth and early twentieth century entertainment, namely panoramas, wax museums, and the beginning of film. Very interesting.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Yasmine A. Khan on November 23, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
She writes like she loves it and can get anyone excited about Modernity and turn of the century Paris through accessible and interesting accounts and a well researched reflective perspective.
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