appropriations of the theatrical. From there, the
chapter moves to a more general, and conceptual, analysis of the interconnections between the platform and the stage which argues for an understanding
of theatre as a deep, generative structure which makes radical politics possible.
This analysis draws heavily on the work of JacquesRancière, particularly his
concept of ‘primary aesthetics’.
As Malcolm Chase’s and Robert Poole’s contributions to this collection
demonstrate, there are multiple interconnections between the theatre and
radical politics in the early nineteenth
described) the historian’s crab-like thinking backwards, he
also suggested that her nostalgia for origins and original referents cannot
be satisfied, because there is actually nothing there: she is not looking for
anything: only silence, the space shaped by what once was; and now is no
more.41 What has survived – the ghost – is not the thing itself, but what
has already been said and written about it. ‘There is history’, says JacquesRancière, ‘because there is the past and a specific passion for the past.
And there is history because there is an absence … The status of
the vast condescension of posterity.49 Other kinds of historian have been
plain-speaking about our desires: social historians’ desire that our historical subjects be the way we want them to be. In 1977, JacquesRancière
addressed a History Workshop held in Oxford on the topic of ‘French
social historiography … and the real deep gap between French social history
as an intellectual product and the organised working-class movements’.
He emphasised social history’s effacement by Annales-school longue durée
history in general, and the ‘motionless history’ of Leroy
development and the manner in which it left a complicated legacy.
104 Popular virtue
Historians have generally regarded moral improvement culture in this
period in terms of intellectual and literary aspirations.2 Case studies of the
leaders of working-class political movements similarly emphasise a distance
between themselves and their constituencies engendered by a desire to escape
and a sense of intellectual or cultural superiority. JacquesRancieré, in his
study of French artisans during the 1830s, argued that worker-intellectuals
‘were seeking intellectual
Discourse from Braudel to Chartier, Johns Hopkins University Press, Maryland
MD, 1992; JacquesRancière, The Names of History. On the Poetics of Knowledge,
University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis MN, 1994; Philippe Carrard, ‘History as
a kind of writing. Michael de Certeau and the poetics of historiography’, South Atlantic
Quarterly, 100:2 (2001), pp. 465–483. For history as a genre of writing, see Devoney
Looser, British Women Writers and the Writing of History, 1670–1820, Johns Hopkins
University Press, Baltimore MD, 2000; Anders Ingram, Writing the Ottomans. Turkish
of writing. Michel de Certeau and the poetics of historiography’, The South Atlantic Quarterly, 100:2 (2001), pp. 465–482; JacquesRancière, The
Names of History. On the Poetics of Knowledge (1992), University of Minnesota Press,
Minneapolis MN, 1994. See also Frank Kermode’s remarks on history-as-writing in
History and Value, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1988, pp. 108–127.
28 See above, Chapter 3.
29 Illustrated Guide to the National Museum in Naples. Sanctioned by the Ministry of
Education, Richter, Naples, 1909.
STEEDMAN 9781526125217 PRINT.indd 193
ADSSD AM 281J AM I B1 Marty, Affaire, p. 10.
41 Mark Michael Smith (ed.), Hearing History: A Reader (Athens: University
of Georgia Press, 2004).
42 Sophia Rosenfeld, ‘On being heard: a case for paying attention to the
historical ear’, American Historical Review, 116, 2 (2011), pp. 316–34.
JacquesRancière, The Politics of Aesthetics: Distribution of the Sensible
(London: Bloomsbury, 2013). Jean-Rémy Julien, ‘Paris: cris, sons, bruits:
l’environnement sonore des années pré-révolutionnaires d’après Le
Tableau de Paris de Sébastien Mercier’, in Jean-Rémy Julien et
(Minneapolis: University of Minnesota
Press, 1989), pp. 101–18, esp. p. 112; JacquesRanciere, The Names of History:
On the Poetics of Knowledge, trans. Hassan Melehy (Minneapolis: University
of Minnesota Press, 1994).
13 Bonnie Smith, The Gender of History: Men, Women and Historical Practice
(Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1998), pp. 103–5, 130–55.
14 David Armstrong, ‘Silence and truth in death and dying’, Social Science and
Medicine 74 (1987), 655.
15 There is now a burgeoning literature on historical conceptions of death, see:
Philippe Ariès, The Hour of our