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Marianne in the MarketEnvisioning Consumer Society in Fin-de-Siecle France$
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Lisa Tiersten

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780520225299

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520225299.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

“The Mercantile Spirit of our Epoch”

“The Mercantile Spirit of our Epoch”

The Aesthetic Crisis of the Republic

(p.55) Chapter 2 “The Mercantile Spirit of our Epoch”
Marianne in the Market

Lisa Tiersten

University of California Press

This chapter examines several different narratives in the fin-de-siècle controversy over the aesthetics of the consumer metropolis in Paris, France. It highlights the importance of Paris as the aesthetic capital and describes the concerns of politicians, culture critics, and social scientists that the city's role s the aesthetic capital of Europe was being jeopardized by the commercial transformation of the city. Critics pointed to the department store, its cheap commodities, and its vulgar shoppers as the most flagrant manifestations of the commercial age. This chapter also discusses the conservative antimodern discourse that linked urban modernity to cultural decadence.

Keywords:   aesthetics, consumer metropolis, Paris, France, commercial transformation, department store, vulgar shoppers, antimodern discourse

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