The great cat massacre

The men produce terror on the rooftops. Our distance from the French peasant is great—conceptually as well as materially. It was a transitional stage, which marked the passage from childhood to adulthood. The book is composed of six chapter-length essays that are bookended by a short introduction and conclusion.

Le chat, la chaste, le minet mean the same thing in French slang as "pussy" does in English, and they have served as obscenities for centuries.

Stepchildren may not have been treated like Cinderella, but relations between siblings probably were harsh. Not only did he become the victim of a procedure he himself had set in motion, he did not understand how badly he had been had.

The Great Cat Massacre

Although much of it goes back to the Middle Ages, little can be dated. After several nights of this treatment, they decided they were being bewitched. By getting the joke of the great cat massacre, it may be possible to "get" a basic ingredient of artisanal culture under the Old Regime.

But instead of calling the cure the master was exceptionally devout and the mistress exceptionally attached to her confessor they commanded the apprentices to get rid of the cats.

Other slang terms suggest the atmosphere in which the work took place: Although they organized in chapels, staged strikes, and sometimes forced up wages, they remained subordinate to the bourgeois.

They tried and hanged the cats. It comprises six essays, each of which considers a very specific aspect of life in France during the first half of the 18th century, using a particular incident or set of documents as a point of departure.

The apprentices resolve to make a clean sweep of it, and they are joined by ehe journeymen. I suppose it was no great surprise to find that, although the book wasn't quite as brilliant or as fascinating as I remembered, it still held up pretty well.

She lets out a scream; then her volce is cut, because she thinks she sees la grise, and she is certain that such a fate has been reserved for her favorite puss.

They often smothered babies. The Great Cat Massacre is a straight-forward and tidy book.

The Great Cat Massacre: And Other Episodes in French Cultural History

Girls who consumed them in stews gave birth to kittens in several folktales. They found the food especially galling. The torture of animals, especially cats, was a popular amusement throughout early modern Europe.

They could spoil the catch if they crossed the path of fishermen in Brittany. As in many Mardi Gras, the carnival ended in a mock trial and execution. We can study it only through Contat's narrative, written about twenty years after the event.

To pull off such a feat required great dexterity. They resolve not to be the only wretched ones. In killing it, the boys struck at her: The subforeman approached, carrying the apron and followed by two "ancients," one from each of the "estates" of the shop, the casse and the presse.

While mocking a cuckold or some other victim, the youths passed around a cat, tearing its fur to make it howl. That was the beauty of it. It followed that they could be discarded without compunction, whether or not they had worked diligently, had families to support, or fell sick.

A brief overview of the book's structure and content. Ever since I read your blessed book, I have burned with the love of virtue, and my heart, which I had thought extinguished, beats harder than ever.  The Great Cat Massacre entails understanding history differently.

It is the story of vengeance of some ill fed journeymen at the face of their bourgeoisie master’s attitude. The pranksters carry out their master plan by killing the Cats and then staging a mock trial.

The Great Cat Massacre: And Other Episodes in French Cultural History

What the author point outs is the humor that they share at the face of this cruelty. The Great Cat Massacre.

according to a worker who witnessed it, was a riotous massacre of cats. The worker, Nicolas Contat, told the story in an account of his apprenticeship in the shop, rue Saint-Severin, Paris, during the late s. Worse still, the cook secretly sold the leftovers and gave the boys cat food – old, rotten bits of.

THE GREAT CAT MASSACRE is a study of the French mentality some two and a half centuries ago. The ‘method’ is to take documents/events that make little sense to us (why would individuals massacre cats?) and then burrow into the subject, contextualize the events and, in the process, acquire a greater understanding of how the French mind /5(29).

Darnton's history Twenty-five years ago, Robert Darnton offered a highly original perspective on historical understanding in his The Great Cat Massacre: And Other Episodes in French Cultural History (), and the book still warrants close attention.

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Full title:The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History. This is my second reading of this book, which I picked up after a really great history class in which we studied (among other things) fairy tales that were told by the peasant class and what we could learn from them.

The first chapter of this book is a good summary.

The great cat massacre
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