The Emergence of Social Space : Rimbaud and the Paris Commune, Paperback

The Emergence of Social Space : Rimbaud and the Paris Commune Paperback

Part of the Radical Thinkers series


The 1870s in France Rimbaud s moment, and the subject of this book is a decade virtually ignored in most standard histories in France.

Yet it was the moment of two significant spatial events: France s expansion on a global scale, and, in the spring of 1871, the brief existence on the Paris Commune the construction of the revolutionary urban space.

Arguing that space, as a social fact, is always political and strategic, Kristin Ross has written a book that is at once a history and geography of the Commune s anarchist culture its political language and social relations, its values, strategies, and stances.

Central to her analysis of the Commune as a social space and oppositional culture is a close textual reading of Arthur Rimabaud s poetry.

His poems a common thread running through the book are one set of documents among many in Ross s recreation of the Communard experience.

Rimbaud, Paul Lafargue, and the social geographer Elisee Reclus serve as emblematic figures moving within and on the periphery of the Commune; in their resistance to the logic and economy of the capitalist conception of work, in their challenge to work itself as a term of identity, all three posed a threat to the existing order.

Ross looks at these and other emancipatory notions as aspects of Communard life, each with an analogous strategy in Rimbaud s poetry.

Applying contemporary theory, to a wealth of little-known archival material, she has written a fresh, persuasive, and original book."




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