Lecture by Robert Darnton, Censors at Work: How Government Shapes Literature (VIDEO)
On November 30, the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) hosted a meeting with Dr. Robert Darnton who delivered a lecture, Censors at Work: How Government Shapes Literature. Robert Darnton is Professor and Director of the Harvard University Library, Emeritus Professor at Princeton University, and a recognized microhistory classic.
Russian-speaking readers know him for his two books that exerted a great influence on the humanitarian world: The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History (Novoye Literaturnoye Obozrenie, 2002) and Poetry and the Police: Communication Networks in Eighteenth-Century Paris (Novoye Literaturnoye Obozrenie, 2016).
A new and equally fascinating study by Robert Darnton, just published in the Novoye Literaturnoye Obozrenie (New Literature Review), is devoted to the history of censorship in three countries and eras: royalist France of the 18th century, colonial India of the 19th century and East Germany at the turn of the 1980s-1990s. What did government censors think about their work and how did they interact with the book market, including the ‘black market?’ How was the ‘shadow’ book world organized? What contribution did censorship make not only to the cultural, but also to the economic and political life of society? These are the issues discussed at the meet-the-author event.