By Jacques Ranciere, Donald Reid
Proletarian Nights, formerly released in English as Nights of Labor and one among Rancière’s most crucial works, dramatically reinterprets the Revolution of 1830, contending that staff weren't rebelling opposed to particular hardships and stipulations yet opposed to the unyielding predetermination in their lives. via a examine of worker-run newspapers, letters, journals, and worker-poetry, Rancière unearths the contradictory and conflicting tales that problem the coherence of those statements celebrating labor.
This up to date variation encompasses a new preface by way of the writer, revisiting the paintings 20 years for the reason that its first book in France.
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Additional resources for Proletarian Nights: The Workers' Dream in Nineteenth-Century France
This page) Worker recruits and their new Saint-Simonian friends talked past one another. Each concentrated on possibilities inherent in the others’ material situation while ignoring their interlocutors’ dreams. Some workers saw the Saint-Simonians as a source of work; the most committed were entranced by the opportunities to philosophize—to do “unuseful labor”—in a community of love that the Saint-Simonian students, freed from the necessity of manual labor, could inspire. They were attracted to Saint-Simonianism by the glimpse of a new world, not the improvement of their own.
It does not accept any difference of status, any hierarchy between description, fiction, or argument. This is not in the name of some fetishist passion for lived experience. That would be itself the alibi for a distribution of roles that gives the people speech in order to verify that they are indeed speaking the language of the people, and grants the poor the experience of reality and the flavor of daily life so as better to reserve for itself the privilege of the creative imagination and the explanatory word.
Yet instead of advancing philosophical theses, he was telling stories of French workers in the nineteenth century. And, as for Marxism, he offered no analysis of industrial production and capitalist exploitation, nor of social theories and the struggles of working-class parties and unions. His workers, moreover, were not “real” workers; they were old-style artisans, dreamers who versified or invented philosophies, who met together in the evenings to set up short-lived magazines, enthused about socialist and communist utopias but generally did not get involved in putting these into practice.