By Donald Sassoon
A magisterial narrative account of the production and intake of all types of ‘culture’ around the eu continent over the past 200 years.
This compelling, wide-ranging and highly formidable publication bargains, for the 1st time ever, an built-in heritage of the tradition produced and ate up by means of Europeans on the grounds that 1800, and follows its transformation from an elite task to a mass industry – from lending libraries to the web, from the 1st public live shows to track downloads.
In itself a cultural travel de strength, the ebook covers low and high tradition, readers and writers, audiences and prima donnas, Rossini and hip hop, Verdi and the Beatles, Zola and Tintin, Walter Scott and Jules Verne, the serialised novel of the 19th-century in addition to ‘Dallas’ and ‘Coronation Street’. integrated in its monstrous scope are fairytales, bestsellers, crime and sci-fi, non-fiction, magazines, newspapers, comedian strips, performs, opera, musicals, pop song, sound recording, motion pictures, documentaries, radio and television.
A continent-wide survey, this majestic paintings comprises discussions of rock track below communism, Polish and Danish bestsellers, French melodramas and German cabarets, fascist and Soviet cinema. It examines the methods tradition travels – the way it is produced, reworked, tailored, absorbed, offered and fed on; the way it is formed by way of audiences and politics, and regulated by means of legislation and standard morality; why a few international locations excel specifically genres. It examines the anxiousness and charm felt via Europeans in the direction of American tradition, and asks to what quantity eu tradition has turn into Americanised.
Stylishly written, without jargon, this is often international non-fiction narrative at its best.
Note that it has no longer been attainable to incorporate an analogous photo content material that seemed within the unique print version.
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Additional resources for The Culture of the Europeans (Text Only Edition)
14 What matters to us here is how a cultural form or a genre – for instance the epistolary novel – travels and is adapted in a new milieu. Many narrative genres, such as the crime story or the epic, seem to have a general appeal, cutting across religious, cultural and national boundaries with little change. The same occurs, for instance, with food. This is deemed to possess uniquely ‘local’ qualities, since we talk of ‘Italian’, ‘French’ and ‘Chinese’ food. In a global age, local food becomes global either by being imported by immigrants (Italian and Chinese) or adopted by élites, or, more recently, marketed by international corporations.
The ‘wretched refuse’ of Europe’s ‘teeming shore’, to quote Emma Lazarus’s famous sonnet engraved on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, were not as ignorant as those who had stayed behind. Three-quarters of those entering the USA in 1900–10 were literate. 6 Immigration led to new forms of cultural preservations. 7 They selected specific features of their home culture, often the popular elements such as the food and the music, and turned them into a badge of identity. In their new country the immigrants often tenderly preserved and cherished the memory of a lost world which in their native land was rapidly disappearing under the weight of modernity.
19 But this is imprecise, since all culture is consumed. Flaubert and Tolstoy, by now, have probably sold more books than their more popular contemporaries. Others seek to underline the ‘formulaic’ aspect of popular culture. 20 That may be so, but all culture is ‘formulaic’ if, by this expression, we mean simply some kind of template from which a variety of products can be derived. Seriality and repetition are hardly new: much Renaissance art is based on a limited number of subjects. So while I will frequently use the distinction between high and low, I will regard it largely as a question of audiences and markets.