The Great Cat Massacre Analysis 1390 Words6 Pages Overall, the argument of The Great Cat Massacre was that a historian could use the writings of a particular point in history to determine the psychology of the people of that time. Life as an apprentice was hard, he explained. By smashing the spine of la grise they called the master's wife a witch and a slut, while at the same time making the master into a cuckold and a fool. This tragic event in the history of France continues to fascinate American historians and actors today. This book, a "quick trial run through eighteenth-century culture" (p. 257), represents a hopeful attempt to breathe some new life into l'histoire des mentalites. Aside from this, they were mistreated, beaten and exposed to cold and horrible weather. The disturbing history of cat abuse: Public hangings, pipe beatings and ‘The Great Cat Massacre’ ... a disturbing story told in the “The Great Cat Massacre” by historian Robert Darnton: AD. In this case, it was of the French … The Great Cat Massacre on the Rue Saint-Séverin was, in the words of the perpetrators, “the funniest thing that ever happened at Jacques Vincent’s printing works.”. An early exchange between Darnton and French cultural historian Roger Chartier was subjected to a scathing analysis by Dominic LaCapra of the 'Great Symbol Massacre' involved. Pp. I know that you probably clicked on the link to this blog because the title had the words cat and massacre in it and that you are tempted to leave it for Snapchat or this very cool notification you just got but stick with me for the next … New York: Basic, 1984. December 7, 2017. Darnton's approach to the historical texts he uses, both in the Cat Massacre chapter and others in the volume, has been criticised since shortly after the work's appearance for its simplistic assumptions. Broad contexts: changes in twentieth-century historiography; emergence of ‘culture’ as a key category of research. Please email digital@historytoday.com if you have any problems. New York: Basic Books, 1999 XIII + 298. Hey There! The funniest thing that ever happened in the printing shop of Jacques Vincent, according to a worker who witnessed it, was a riotous massacre of cats. They found the food especially galling. 4 Minutes. One of the apprentices imitated a cat by screaming like one for several nights, making the printer and his wife despair. The cats were a favourite of the printer's wife and were fed much better than the apprentices, who were in turn served "catfood" (rotting meat scraps). by Robert Darnton THE FUNNIEST THING that ever happened in the printing shop of Jacques Vincent, according to a worker who witnessed it, was a riotous massacre of cats. Instead of dining at the master's table, they had to eat scraps from his plate in the kitchen. To continue reading this article you will need to purchase access to the online archive. The Great Cat Massacre Chapter 5 Summary & Analysis Chapter 5 Summary: “Philosophers Trim the Tree of Knowledge: The Epistemological Strategy of The Encyclopédie” Unlike his other chapters, Darnton’s essay on The Encyclopédie —the groundbreaking Enlightenment text edited by Diderot and Jean le Rond d’Alembert—reads less like anthropological history and more like a work of literary … THE GREAT CAT MASSACRE is a study of the French mentality some two and a half centuries ago. 298. : Robert Darnton. The worker, Nicolas Contat, told the story in an account of his apprenticeship in the shop, rue Saint-Severin, Paris, during the late 1730s. The Great Cat Massacre: Spouse: Nina Darnton: Relatives: Byron Darnton (father) Eleanor Choate Darnton (mother) John Darnton (brother) Website; robertdarnton.org: Robert Choate Darnton (born May 10, 1939) is an American cultural historian and academic librarian … Darnton shows that it is possible to figure out how illiterate people thought about the world around them, the relationships they found themselves in, the natural world, and much more. New York: Basic Books, 1984. Works Cited Darnton, Robert. [2][3] (As may the wife in the story, who says she believes that "they were threatened by a more serious kind of insubordination" beyond the simple stoppage of work.)[4]. [6], LaCapra, D. (1988). The apprentices did this, rounded up all the cats they could find, beat them half to death and held a 'trial'. The Journal of Modern History, 60(1), 95-112. New York: Basic Books, 1999 XIII + 298. The landmark history of France and French culture in the 18th century, a winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Cat calls summoned up Katzenmusik, for charivaris often took the form of howling under a cuckold's window on the eve of Mardi Gras, the favorite time for cat sabbaths. [5] Harold Mah in 1991 focused directly on Darnton's account of the 'Massacre', arguing ultimately that the author had 'suppressed' the actual nature of the source in pursuit of an engaging interpretation. Cats suited their purposes perfectly. The worker, Nicolas Contat, told the story in an account of his apprenticeship in the shop, rue Saint-Severin, Paris, during the late 1730s. 8 Reviews. ISBN: 9780465012749. Two printing-shop apprentices rounded up the neighbourhood cats, including their mistress's favourite pet, and battered them to death. The Great Cat Massacre consists of the analysis of six cultural artefacts, all from eighteenth-century France, layered by social group of origin and level of sophistication. In Paris in the 1730s, a group of printing apprentices tortured and ritually killed all the cats they could find. Specific contexts: history and anthropology (in particular, the work of Clifford Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures. The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History is an influential collection of essays on the cultural history of early modern France by the American historian Robert Darnton, first published in 1984. The funniest thing that ever happened in the printing shop of Jacques Vincent, according to a worker who witnessed it, was a riotous massacre of cats. The Great Cat Massacre: And Other Episodes in French Cultural History by Robert Darnton. These are some of the provocative questions the distinguished Harvard historian Robert Darnton answers The Great Cat Massacre , a kaleidoscopic view of European culture during in what we like to call "The Age of Enlightenment." The Great Cat Massacre with out a doubt has one of the most unusual titles ever created especially for a book about history. A classic of European history, it is an essential starting point for understanding Enlightenment France. The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History. The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History. Click to read more about The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History by Robert Darnton. Darnton concluded: The joke worked so well because the workers played so skillfully with a repertory of ceremonies and symbols. Great Cat Massacre. Darnton, influenced by Clifford Geertz who was a colleague of Darnton's and had pioneered the approach of "thick description" in cultural anthropology, aimed to gain greater insight into the period and social groups involved by studying what he perceived to be something which appeared alien to the late modern mind – the fact that killing cats might be funny. Basic Books, May 12, 2009 - History - 320 pages. Buy Online Access  Buy Print & Archive Subscription. “UnderstandingSociety.” There were two of them: Jerome, the somewhat fictionalised version of Contat himself, and Leveille, They slept in a filthy freezing room, rose before dawn, ran errands all day while dodging insults from the journeymen and abuse from the master, and received nothing but slops to eat. If you have already purchased access, or are a print & archive subscriber, please ensure you are logged in. First Edition. Life as an apprentice was hard, he explained. Summary of the Great Cat Massacre by Robert Darnton. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for The Great Cat Massacre at Amazon.com. Robert Darnton | Published in History Today Volume 34 Issue 8 August 1984. thecatmassacre Uncategorized November 26, 2017. Other chapters look at fairy tales, the writing of the Encyclopédie and other aspects of French early modern history. Buy The Great Cat Massacre: And Other Episodes in French Cultural History By Robert Darnton. Worse still, the cook secretly sold the leftovers and gave the boys cat food ��� old, rotten bits of meat that they could not stomach and so passed on to the cats, who refused it. Robert Darnton. The book's title is derived from its most famous chapter which describes and interprets an unusual source detailing the "massacre" of cats by apprentice printers living and working on Rue Saint-Séverin in Paris during the late 1730s. The Great Cat Massacre Chapter 4 Summary & Analysis Chapter 4 Summary: “A Police Inspector Sorts His Files: The Anatomy of the Republic of Letters” Having explored the attitudes of the peasant, the artisan, and the urban bourgeois, Darnton turns his attention to a less easily classifiable member of 18th-century French society: the intellectual. Click here for the lowest price! Darnton interprets this as an early form of workers' protest. [1], Darnton describes how, as the apprentices suffered hard conditions, they came to resent the favours which their masters gave to their cats, and contrived to deal with the nuisance cats by slaughtering them so as to distress their masters. A classic of European history, it is an essential starting point for understanding Enlightenment France Now this unusual title perhaps fits this book better than any other straight - forward title Mr. Darnton could have conjured. The Great Cat Massacre: And Other Episodes in French Cultural History. The book's title is derived from its most famous chapter which describes and interprets an unusual source detailing the "massacre" of cats by apprentice printers living and working on Rue Saint-Séverin in Paris during the late 1730s. Chartier, Darnton, and the Great Symbol Massacre. The worker, Nicolas Contat, told the story in an account of his apprenticeship in the shop, rue Saint-Severin, Paris, during the late 1730s. Using folktales, oral histories, letters, and police reports, Darnton explores the attitudes and behaviors of 18th-century French men and women, from indigent peasants to the most celebrated minds of the Enlightenment. Account of ‘the great cat massacre’ in 1730s France, and Robert Darnton’s investigation of it. While such a gruesome display would strike most modern observers as a horrific outrage, those who participated in the massacre and many … Chapter 2 Summary: “Workers Revolt: The Great Cat Massacre of the Rue Saint-Séverin”. Print. The Great Cat Massacre: And Other Episodes in French Cultural History by Robert Darnton In Paris in the late 1730s an extraordinary event occurred. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. Keeping pets was as alien to the workers as torturing animals was to the bourgeois. Available in used condition with free delivery in the US. In the late 1730s a group of apprentices and journeymen at a Paris printing shop spent the better part of a day slaughtering scores of cats, indiscriminately and with abandon. © Copyright 2020 History Today Ltd. Company no. It was metonymic insult, delivered by actions, not words, and it struck home because cats occupied a soft spot in the bourgeois way of life. The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History is an influential collection of essays on the cultural history of early modern France by the American historian Robert Darnton, first published in 1984. The landmark history of France and French culture in … ...The Great Cat Massacre: And Other Episodes in French Cultural History.First Edition. The Great Cat Massacre. The funniest thing that ever happened in the printing shop of Jacques Vincent, according to a worker who witnessed it, was a riotous massacre of cats. What does this macabre story tell us about the culture and society of eighteenth-century France? $17.95. 1556332. In 1730 in Paris, two apprentice printers staged a trial for their masters’ cats, condemned them to death by hanging, and carried out the sentence. ROBERT DARNTON. The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History is a nonfiction essay collection published in 1984 by American historian Robert Darnton. Other chapters look at fairy tales, the writing of the Encyclopédiean… In the first chapter of "The Great Cat Massacre", Robert Darnton uses old fairy tales passed down through the generations to examine history, rather than just examining the history itself. Retrieved May 17, 2020, from www.jstor.org/stable/1880407, Harold Mah, “Suppressing the Text:The Metaphysics of Ethnographic History in Darnton's Great Cat Massacre," History Workshop 31 (spring 1991), 1–20, "The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Great_Cat_Massacre&oldid=985633548, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 27 October 2020, at 01:18. The book containing this account, The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History, has become one of Darnton's most popular writings; it has been published in eighteen languages. Finally, the printer ordered the cats rounded up and dispatched. The Great Cat Massacre Chapter 6-Conclusion Summary & Analysis Chapter 6 Summary: “Readers Respond to Rousseau: The Fabrication of Romantic Sensitivity” Following the relative departure of the previous chapter, Darnton returns to his question of how ordinary individuals thought and behaved in 18th-century France. Buy Study Guide: The Great Cat Massacre by Robert Darnton (SuperSummary): Read Kindle Store Reviews - Amazon.com Witchcraft, orgy, cuckoldry, charivari, and massacre, the men of the Old Regime could hear a great deal in the wail of a cat. The Great Cat Massacre with out a doubt has one of the most unusual titles ever created especially for a book about history. Paperback, 9780394729275, 0394729277 The worker, Nicolas Contat, told the story in an account of his apprenticeship in the shop, rue Saint- … They found the cats guilty of witchcraft and sentenced them to death by hanging. Thus the book starts with peasants' Mother Goose rhymes, goes on to urban workers (the cat massacre), and to the philosophers' encyclopaedia, via a captivating chapter based on police reports. Robert Darnton challenges the widely held assumption that cultural systems derive from social orders, and takes the beetle's eye view, picking out quirky sources that reveal the viewpoint of the 'native', dissecting what they say to then draw conclusions about the world they lived in. Check out this great listen on Audible.ca. Trapped between incompatible sensitivities, the cats had the worst of both worlds. ISBN-10: 0465012744 Darnton is a distinguished historian and a MacArthur prize fellow. Robert Darnton. These are some of the provocative questions the distinguished Harvard historian Robert Darnton answers in The Great Cat Massacre, a kaleidoscopic view of European culture during what we like to call "The Age of Enlightenment". 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