Cover image for Apartment stories : city and home in nineteenth-century Paris and London
Title:
Apartment stories : city and home in nineteenth-century Paris and London
Author:
Marcus, Sharon, 1966-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Berkeley : University of California Press, [1999]

©1999
Physical Description:
x, 323 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780520208520

9780520217263
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library HD7287.6.F82 P375 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

In urban studies, the nineteenth century is the "age of great cities." In feminist studies, it is the era of the separate domestic sphere. But what of the city's homes? In the course of answering this question, Apartment Stories provides a singular and radically new framework for understanding the urban and the domestic. Turning to an element of the cityscape that is thoroughly familiar yet frequently overlooked, Sharon Marcus argues that the apartment house embodied the intersections of city and home, public and private, and masculine and feminine spheres.

Moving deftly from novels to architectural treatises, legal debates, and popular urban observation, Marcus compares the representation of the apartment house in Paris and London. Along the way, she excavates the urban ghost tales that encoded Londoners' ambivalence about city dwellings; contends that Haussmannization enclosed Paris in a new regime of privacy; and locates a female counterpart to the fl#65533;neur and the omniscient realist narrator--the porti#65533;re who supervised the apartment building.


Summary

In urban studies, the nineteenth century is the "age of great cities." In feminist studies, it is the era of the separate domestic sphere. But what of the city's homes? In the course of answering this question, Apartment Stories provides a singular and radically new framework for understanding the urban and the domestic. Turning to an element of the cityscape that is thoroughly familiar yet frequently overlooked, Sharon Marcus argues that the apartment house embodied the intersections of city and home, public and private, and masculine and feminine spheres.

Moving deftly from novels to architectural treatises, legal debates, and popular urban observation, Marcus compares the representation of the apartment house in Paris and London. Along the way, she excavates the urban ghost tales that encoded Londoners' ambivalence about city dwellings; contends that Haussmannization enclosed Paris in a new regime of privacy; and locates a female counterpart to the fl#65533;neur and the omniscient realist narrator--the porti#65533;re who supervised the apartment building.


Author Notes

Sharon Marcus is Associate Professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley.


Sharon Marcus is Associate Professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley.


Reviews 2

Choice Review

Marcus's expansive literary analysis relates novels by Balzac and Zola and popular writings of London and Paris to the transformations of public and private space embodied in 19th-century apartments. Paris, where such built forms shaped bourgeois living, provides the primary analytic axis for evocative links between architecture and urban media, gender roles and society. London, where single family homes predominated (albeit subdivided for lodgers), poses a pivotal contrast that Marcus creatively explores through the unease of haunted house tales. This section also artfully clarifies contrasts between the Paris of the 1840s that celebrated the apartment and the interiorization the author finds in Zola's post-Haussman Pot Bouille. Marcus carefully synthesizes a vast range of urban cultural materials, although one might still seek more detail about political economics and architectural history. One also sometimes misses a sense of apartments themselves as complex, changeable places of living, sleeping, eating, and so on. Nevertheless, the contrast of Paris and London underscores rich potential comparison with transformations of New York, Vienna, Berlin, Barcelona, and other domesticities and cityscapes. The work's insights should prove provocative especially to students in humanities familiar with its specialized critical vocabulary. Upper-division undergraduates and above. G. W. McDonogh Bryn Mawr College


Choice Review

Marcus's expansive literary analysis relates novels by Balzac and Zola and popular writings of London and Paris to the transformations of public and private space embodied in 19th-century apartments. Paris, where such built forms shaped bourgeois living, provides the primary analytic axis for evocative links between architecture and urban media, gender roles and society. London, where single family homes predominated (albeit subdivided for lodgers), poses a pivotal contrast that Marcus creatively explores through the unease of haunted house tales. This section also artfully clarifies contrasts between the Paris of the 1840s that celebrated the apartment and the interiorization the author finds in Zola's post-Haussman Pot Bouille. Marcus carefully synthesizes a vast range of urban cultural materials, although one might still seek more detail about political economics and architectural history. One also sometimes misses a sense of apartments themselves as complex, changeable places of living, sleeping, eating, and so on. Nevertheless, the contrast of Paris and London underscores rich potential comparison with transformations of New York, Vienna, Berlin, Barcelona, and other domesticities and cityscapes. The work's insights should prove provocative especially to students in humanities familiar with its specialized critical vocabulary. Upper-division undergraduates and above. G. W. McDonogh Bryn Mawr College


Google Preview