Ten years ago, Arlette Farge wrote this founding text, which was inspired by a find in the official archives. Before her discovery, historians had paid little attention to the tiny pieces of paper which were attached to the wrists of the very poor… Read more in the 18th century, when their bodies were identified by the police. Working from these written elements, she tells the story of forgotten lives, striving to capture what their existence – generally unrecorded – might have been.
Today’s editorial context casts a different light on this work; biographical narratives now command much more interest and have appeared recently, for example, in Pierre Rosanvallon’s project as a way of repairing our democracy. In a new preface, Arlette Farge makes no secret of her reserves about such a venture and invites us to distinguish between self and singularity, the juxtaposition of lives and collective emancipation.
Author : ARLETTE FARGE
Collection: A définir / Temporaire
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