Memory and the politics of forgetting: Paris, the Commune and the 1878 Exposition universelle

Wilson, C. (2005) Memory and the politics of forgetting: Paris, the Commune and the 1878 Exposition universelle. Journal of European Studies, 35 (1/2 ). pp. 47-64. ISSN 0047-2441. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Abstract

This study focuses on the representation of Paris during the 1878 Exposition universelle (World Fair) and the Fête du 30 juin (Festival of 30 June) in a selection of articles in the popular, conservative, illustrated journal Le Monde illustré and Charles Marville’s specially commissioned photographic exhibits, Le Vieux Paris (Bygone Paris) and Travaux (Public Works). A close reading of these texts and images reveals that while Marville’s collection of juxtaposed photographs, conform to the officially promoted view of the city as a modern, healthy and hygienic metropolis and, as such, constitute an effective denial of the memory of Communard Paris, the ironies and ambiguities present in the descriptions of the city by Le Monde illustré’s pseudonymous reporter would, on the contrary, suggest that the memory of the recent past cannot be so easily erased. The article concludes by reflecting on some of the wider issues raised by these examples and the extent to which official histories are invariably the creation of a society’s ruling class.

Item Type: Article
Additional information: Special issue on `Cultural Memory in France: Margins and Centres'
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PQ Romance literatures
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
H Social Sciences > HX Socialism. Communism. Anarchism
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PC Romance languages
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
D History General and Old World > DC France
T Technology > TR Photography
N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages
Depositing User: Colette Wilson
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2008 21:39
Last Modified: 14 Jan 2010 14:36
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/9656 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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