Translated from English Solntseva Maria
2023. 140 x 212 mm. Hardcover. 192 p.
Annotation: “Poetry and Police”, the book by Robert Darnton, Harvard Professor, combines the features of a detective story with those of a historical research work and theoretical reflexive analysis. The plot of the book deals with the follow-up investigation of the case, once already solved by the Parisian police. The case in hand was under way back in Spring 1749 and centered around the circulation of seditious verses targeting the Parisian Court and Louis XV himself. The police had shut fourteen educated class members – students, young priests and lawyers – in Bastille attempting to track down the author. Through reconstruction of the cultural context hidden behind these verses Robert Darnton demonstrates, how did the topical, lowly, court poetry served as an important political media, tremendously influencing the “public opinion” (as we would put it nowadays) of the time. Following the chain of moves and conclusions once made by the French detectives of the eighteenth century, the American historian unveils the role of the oral communication means and social networks of the epoch that was already witnessing the deterioration of the old regime, whereas the invention of the Internet was still a matter for the far future.