Braudel Literary Analysis

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Capital: Casanova uses Braudel’s concept for determining the capital of his world. In this way, Braudel considers artistic space independent from the economic and political space. To clarify it more, through giving some real examples, he shows that a major center or city of politics or economic at a specific period of time is not necessarily prominent in art and artistic space representing the independence of the artistic space. For instance, while in the sixteenth century, Venice was the economic capital of Europe, the prevalent capitals in the intellectual sphere were Florence and the Tuscan dialect. In the following century, Amsterdam achieved primacy in the European commerce and Rome and Madrid were the triumphant cities in art and literature.…show more content…
As Casanova said, literary capital is a place where literary prestige and belief meet in the highest level. As she emphasizes, the literary “prestige” is dependent on the following aspects: 1. the existence of an extensive professional milieu, 2. a limited and cultured public, 3. an interested aristocracy or enlightened bourgeoisie, 4. a specialized press, 5. desirable publishers who compete with one another, 6. judges of talent, 7. and finally, celebrated writers devoted to the task of writing. She selects Paris as the capital of the literary world and the city of literature while it is the political capital of France for having the greatest literary prestige on earth; but, why Paris? What characteristics does it have that enables it to become the capital of the literary world? Through a detailed discussion, Casanova tries to prove her opinion by referring to the descriptions of great writers, like Walter Benjamin, about Paris and by mentioning its specific features for being such a capital which some of them are presented in the following: Paris as the symbol of the Revolution and the uprisings of 1830, 1848, and 1870-71, of the invention of the rights of men, an asylum for political refugees and tolerance toward foreigners and the source of political democracy (where political liberty and intellectuality lead to the liberty of art and artists), the capital of letters, the arts, luxurious living and fashion,…show more content…
What is the reason of this uniqueness? The Revolution reviving the memory of events like the declaration of the Rights of Man and the respect for the principle of the right to asylum along with the being of great writers such as Hugo, Balzac, Heine, Zola, and more and more; a revolution which provided the required grounds for the flourish of art and fashion. Additionally, the role of novel and poem along with fashion in reinforcing the supremacy of Paris and making the city popular shouldn’t be ignored; in fact, characters like Notre-Dame de Paris, Le Père Goriot, and books such as La Curée, Le spleen de Paris, and more and more, while resulting in the city’s literariness manifest, had such a perdurable effect that make literature and Paris become interchangeable. In Casanova’s idea, Paris, the city of a hundred thousand novels, intensifies his position as the literary capital of the world through establishing a connection between politics and literature by converting great political events, especially the Revolution, into literature, as is pictured in Hugo’s Les Misérables and Flaubert’s L'Éducation sentimentale. On the other hand, the turning of Paris into the world literary capital was in debt to the numberless descriptions of Paris, as “a miniature version of the world”, a unique

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