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Montagnes Russes and Calicot

Print Culture and Visual Satire in Restoration Paris

Peggy Davis

Restoration-era discourse on the montagnes russes—early roller coasters—reveals how leisure activity could become a lightning rod for perspectives on public space, tensions among social groups, and expressions of patriotism. Eager to profit from the montagnes russes craze, boulevard theaters hosted a number of plays on the subject. Through the buffoonish character M. Calicot, one such comedy—entitled The Battle of the Mountains— caricatured young clothing-trade salesclerks who frequented roller-coaster parks. The play provoked the ire of some of these men, who “waged war” on the Variety Theater, where the play was performed. The conflict in turn sparked satires in print, visual, and other media. These cultural productions both reflected the short-lived mania for roller coasters and shaped attitudes in their own right, all while employing laughter to deal with postwar trauma.

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Hygienic Promenades

The Montagnes Russes as Medical and Urban Artifacts

Sun-Young Park

Postrevolutionary Paris witnessed a brief flowering of commercial gardens, precursors to the modern-day amusement park, which cultivated nature, exercise, and health in an urbanizing context. Bridging the eighteenth-century jardin-spectacle and the Second Empire network of public parks, pleasure grounds such as the Grand Tivoli and the Beaujon garden offered a range of activities including gymnastic games, bicycling, and, most strikingly of all, exhilarating rides on early roller coasters known as montagnes russes. Situated on the periphery of a rapidly densifying city and abstracting natural forms for urban consumption, these rides integrated discourses of hygiene and recreation. Analyzing these short-lived curiosities from the vantage points of medical, cultural, and urban history, this article argues that the montagnes russes helped disseminate modern conceptions of health and gender in popular culture.

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The Battle of the Mountains

Repatriating Folly in France in the Aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars

Christine Haynes

At the beginning of the Second Restoration, Paris was swept by a mania for roller coasters, which were dubbed montagnes russes after a Russian tradition of sledding on ice hills. Situating this phenomenon in the context of the military occupation of France following the defeat of Napoleon, this article analyzes one of the many plays featuring these “mountains,” Le Combat des montagnes (“The Battle of the Mountains”), and especially two of its main characters, La Folie (Folly) and Calicot (Calico Salesman). The “battle” over the roller coasters, it argues, was really a contest over how to redefine national identity around consumer culture rather than military glory. Through the lens of the montagnes russes, the article offers a new perspective on the early Restoration as an aftermath of war.

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Introduction

What Is Old Is New Again

Jeff Horn

Through a variety of disciplinary lenses, this innovative forum, coedited with Victoria Thompson, investigates a particular cultural space and time, namely the emergence of proto–roller coasters known as montagnes russes or “Russian mountains” in Paris in 1817. Peggy Davis, Sun-Young Park, and Christine Haynes depict the early years of the Restoration (1814/1815–1830) as a liminal moment in the emergence of modernity. Although this forum began as a panel at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Society for French Historical Studies, the authors have extended and improved their pieces significantly. Taken together, they show that as foreigners flocked to Paris and the French adjusted to diminished circumstances in the aftermath of Napoleon’s second defeat, identities were in flux. This forum explores how and why the montagnes russes became such a cultural phenomenon and suggests their role in forging a new French identity in the wake of war and revolution.

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Yet Another Grand Coalition

The Social Democrats at the Crossroads

Andreas M. Wüst

political actors, the time between the election and the formation of a new government resembles a roller coaster ride. But for the spd , the roller coaster went on additional loops. In the end, however, joining the cdu / csu in governing the country

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Jennifer A. Thompson, Sarah L. Fraser, Rocio Macabena Perez, Charlotte Paquette, and Katherine L. Frohlich

[and] I try to keep busy, I'm not tired at night. It's like I always have the same energy.” The abrupt change in their routines provoked emotional tensions, much like an accentuated roller coaster of highs and lows. Tensions between being busy and being

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A World Elsewhere

Documentary Representations of Social Shakespeare

Susanne Greenhalgh

take them on a ‘roller coaster ride of romance, rows, and revelations’, ending with the question, ‘Can they really pull off Shakespeare's Hamlet ?’ However, the film, as the title suggests, also seeks to encapsulate the rites of passage these young

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David Bordwell

analogy, I may be completely engaged by a well designed roller-coaster ride, but I don’t attribute every dip and twist to a quality of the engineer’s mind. In any case, two responses occur to me. First, Brian’s suggestion that on the basis of the text we

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The Search for Politanky

A Hidden Holocaust Refuge in Transnistria

Carol Simon Elias

roller-coaster ride was beginning to tire us, mentally and physically, when suddenly a sign in Russian appeared on the side of the road. We all knew what was written on it, even me, though I had never spoken or read a word of Russian: ‘Welcome to

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Egypt between Two Shakespeare Quadricentennials 1964–2016

Reflective Remarks in Three Snapshots

Hazem Azmy

, particularly as relates to power and its various asymmetries. In 2016 Egypt, we may then ask, and with the nation still struggling to move beyond four deeply problematic changes of heads of state and the political, social and economic roller coaster they have