Your french favorite XIXth century character - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Early modern era & beginning of the modern era. Exploration, enlightenment, industrialisation, colonisation & empire (1492 - 1914 CE).
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#14733890
Hello,

As I am working on an enhanced edition of my historical boardgame about Paris in the XIXth century, I would like to know who is your favorite french XIXth character, knowing that I am dividing them in two camps : Romantics or Moderns. The Romantics are fightng for political and poetical ideas and the moderns are working on establihing order and making a economical prosperous capital in France (the baron Haussmann for exemple).
#14733895
As I am working on an enhanced edition of my historical boardgame about Paris in the XIXth century, I would like to know who is your favorite french XIXth character, knowing that I am dividing them in two camps : Romantics or Moderns. The Romantics are fightng for political and poetical ideas and the moderns are working on establihing order and making a economical prosperous capital in France (the baron Haussmann for exemple).

Your dichotomy doesn't make very much sense to me. Many of the 'Romantics' as you call them (an intellectual movement which was dead by the mid-19th century btw) were fighting for political and poetical ideas and were also fighting for modernity. For example, what do you make of Arthur Rimbaud's dictum that "one must be absolutely modern"? Was Rimbaud a 'Romantic' or a 'Modern'? The question doesn't make very much sense.

To answer your question, I would say either Baudelaire, Rimbaud or Cezanne, depending on my mood.
#14736981
Potemkin wrote:Your dichotomy doesn't make very much sense to me. Many of the 'Romantics' as you call them (an intellectual movement which was dead by the mid-19th century btw) were fighting for political and poetical ideas and were also fighting for modernity. For example, what do you make of Arthur Rimbaud's dictum that "one must be absolutely modern"? Was Rimbaud a 'Romantic' or a 'Modern'? The question doesn't make very much sense.

To answer your question, I would say either Baudelaire, Rimbaud or Cezanne, depending on my mood.


It is interessting because many artists where "Romantics" and "Modern" at the same time indeed.
But it was difficult to find another word for both "camps" in my game because I wanted to propose a positive word for each. One side fighting for freedom of speech and criticising the economical and political authoritarian politics. I couldn't call them reactionnists or progressists : they wanted to live in a ideal Paris. It was the same for the other side : the entrepreneurs and men of state who wanted to modernise the city of Paris and who tried to establish order at any cost.
For the moment we have Victor Hugo, Louise Michel, Baudelaire, lamartine and Gustave Courbet in the Romantic side, the baron Haussmann, Adolphe Thiers, Gustave Eiffel and Fouché for the Moderns.
It is difficult to resume a whole century especially that the game propose a lot of other things in it and is suppose to entertain (we made a little historical book in the box with the real dates, parisian monuments erected etc.).
#14737006
It is interessting because many artists where "Romantics" and "Modern" at the same time indeed.
But it was difficult to find another word for both "camps" in my game because I wanted to propose a positive word for each. One side fighting for freedom of speech and criticising the economical and political authoritarian politics. I couldn't call them reactionnists or progressists : they wanted to live in a ideal Paris. It was the same for the other side : the entrepreneurs and men of state who wanted to modernise the city of Paris and who tried to establish order at any cost.
For the moment we have Victor Hugo, Louise Michel, Baudelaire, lamartine and Gustave Courbet in the Romantic side, the baron Haussmann, Adolphe Thiers, Gustave Eiffel and Fouché for the Moderns.
It is difficult to resume a whole century especially that the game propose a lot of other things in it and is suppose to entertain (we made a little historical book in the box with the real dates, parisian monuments erected etc.).

I still think you are oversimplifying the reality of 19th century French society. Diving it into only two hostile camps, the 'Romantics' and the 'Moderns', reeks of the Whig theory of history, which is also based on looking at history in retrospect and simplifying it to construct a single linear narrative which leads to the present (which is, of course, assumed to be outside history). In reality, 19th century France was politically and socially unstable and was riven by internal contradictions and conflicts. The Emperor Napoleon III once famously complained to a friend: "How can you expect my government to get on? The Empress is a Legitimist; Morny is an Orleanist; Prince Napoleon is a Republican; I am a Socialist...; only Persigny is an Imperialist - and he is mad!" Lol! :lol:

If you want to educate people about 19th century France, then don't oversimplify it to the point where it becomes little more than a 'Janet and John' reading-text for first graders. That's not educating people. Dividing the 19th century French thinkers and artists into 'Romantics' and 'Moderns' is no more meaningful than dividing them into 'Morlocks' and 'Eloi'. Why do you need to invent this fictitious binary division between the French thinkers anyway? What are you gaining by doing this? :eh:
#14746341
Well it is interessting becase I will ask you the same question : how can you educate, teach important events and ideas to people who don't even have a clue on what happened in the XIXth century in France. You have to understand that even french people don't know that there was more than one revolution in our country and who is Louise Michel or the baron Haussmann. I have met hundred and hundred of players in boardgame fairs etc. and honnestly, it is already a big thing to teach one information like the urban and social transformation of Paris under the Second Empire.
I totally agree with you however when it comes to the weel educated people who like history, litterature etc. but it is a small pourcentage in my saddest observation.
So I see my approach like a first step to the big issues of the XIXth century and then some people will feel the need to know a bit more and will realise that history is a complex and subtile field.
#14746357
"How can you expect my government to get on? The Empress is a Legitimist; Morny is an Orleanist; Prince Napoleon is a Republican; I am a Socialist...; only Persigny is an Imperialist - and he is mad!"


This cracked me up, its a gem of a quote. :lol: :lol:
#14746371
Well it is interessting becase I will ask you the same question : how can you educate, teach important events and ideas to people who don't even have a clue on what happened in the XIXth century in France. You have to understand that even french people don't know that there was more than one revolution in our country and who is Louise Michel or the baron Haussmann. I have met hundred and hundred of players in boardgame fairs etc. and honnestly, it is already a big thing to teach one information like the urban and social transformation of Paris under the Second Empire.
I totally agree with you however when it comes to the weel educated people who like history, litterature etc. but it is a small pourcentage in my saddest observation.
So I see my approach like a first step to the big issues of the XIXth century and then some people will feel the need to know a bit more and will realise that history is a complex and subtile field.

This is the crux of the problem of education, especially mass education. Most people understand almost nothing about anything. They lack even the sketchiest knowledge of history or politics or culture. So how to educate them then? In my opinion, the worst thing you can do is to present them with a simplistic, crude version of history or culture - this will simply encourage them to think that they finally do understand these things, when in fact they don't. An ignorant man who knows he is ignorant is better than an ignorant man who thinks he is knowledgeable. Dumbing education down is the way the Americans have gone, and the results are all too painfully obvious. No, don't talk down to them, don't over-simplify things, show them the internal contradictions and complexities of reality, and let them come to their own conclusions. Don't tell them what to think; instead, encourage them to think for themselves. The word 'education' means, after all, to draw out, to draw something out of the student rather than put something in them.
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