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City of NoiseSound and Nineteenth-Century Paris$
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Aimée Boutin

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039218

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039218.001.0001

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Sonic Classifications in Haussmann’s Paris

Sonic Classifications in Haussmann’s Paris

(p.61) Chapter 3 Sonic Classifications in Haussmann’s Paris
City of Noise

Aimée Boutin

University of Illinois Press

This chapter investigates repeated attempts to control street noise in order to cleanse Paris of its antiquated soundscapes, which social policy makers associated with mendicancy, vagrancy, sedition, and economic parasitism. Conversely, amateur historians, preservationists, bibliophiles, collectors, and musicologists were enthralled by what Victor Fournel called the “plaintive cry of Old Paris,” which stood for the resistance to modernity. In their nostalgic writings, these members of the elite circulated shared cultural memories of street cries that erased peddlers' associations with sedition and revolution and fostered the picturesque charms of urban strolling. Fournel and Mainzer repeatedly refer to the need to preserve street cries for posterity, thus anticipating future documentary recording projects, such as Ferdinand Brunot's Archives de la parole. Fournel's attempt to render tradesmen mutedly picturesque, however, is not completely successful, as street cries resist complete co-optation.

Keywords:   Paris, street noise, city sounds, soundscapes, peddlers, Victor Fournel, Joseph Mainser, urban strolling

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