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One of the most unusual decisions of the leaders of the French Revolution – and one that had immense practical as well as symbolic impact – was to abandon customarily-accepted ways of calculating date and time to create a Revolutionary calendar. The experiment lasted from 1793 to 1805, and prompted all sorts of questions about the nature of time, ways of measuring it and its relationship to individual, community, communication and creative life. This study traces the course of the Revolutionary Calendar, from its cultural origins to its decline and fall. Tracing the parallel stories of the calendar and the literary genius of its creator, Sylvain Maréchal, from the Enlightenment to the Napoleonic era, Sanja Perovic reconsiders the status of the French Revolution as the purported 'origin' of modernity, the modern experience of time, and the relationship between the imagination and political action.Read more
- Examines how the French Revolution changed modern perceptions of time through its reinvention of the calendar
- Unpacks the ways in which the French revolution can be said to be the origin of modernity
- Contributes to the historiography of the Revolution as well as the cultural context of the way time is experienced, tracked and perceived
Reviews & endorsements
"The Calendar in Revolutionary France is an exhilarating book that invites one to think about the calendar and its history in ways that move between different time scales and that complicate the terms through which we imagine historical periodization altogether."
Deborah Elise White, Nineteenth-Century French Studies
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- Date Published: August 2012
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781107025950
- length: 290 pages
- dimensions: 235 x 163 x 22 mm
- weight: 0.54kg
- contains: 14 b/w illus.
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
1. From myth to lived experience: the literary and cultural origins of the revolutionary calendar
2. Between the volcano and the sun: Sylvain Maréchal against his time
3. History and nature: the double origins of Republican time
4. Death by volcano: revolutionary terror and the problem of year II
5. Unenthusiastic memory: imagining the festive calendar
6. Perishable Enlightenment: wearing out the calendar
7. The end of the lyrical Revolution and the calendar's piecemeal decline
Chronology of Gregorian and Republican calendars
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