Once upon Two Cities: A Parallel between New York City and Bucharest by 1900

By Mariana Neț.

Published by New Directions in the Humanities, a book imprint by Common Ground Publishing

Format Price
Book: Electronic $US15.00
Paperback $US40.00
Hardback $US60.00

DOI: 10.18848/978-1-61229-884-9/CGP

There is an old fable about a mouse who claimed to be able to compete with an elephant. At first sight, the mere idea of a comparison between Bucharest and New York City seems as preposterous as the pretense of that old mouse. Yet, this book shows how the two cities appealed to people’s senses and how this feeling was mediated by guidebooks, cookbooks, conduct manuals, music, and films. It is about how people lived and how they enjoyed life. It is a glimpse of people hustling, crowding, and walking at leisure. It shows how they saw the two cities and how they talked about them. It explains what each of the cities was generally considered to look like and what they were shown to look like: not so much what people’s lives were, but what they seemed to have been; not how people behaved, but how they were taught to behave; not what they ate, but what they must have eaten; not all the “partitions” of the music in the cities, but those few icons and “scores” which were supposed to appeal, first and foremost, to the middle class. It is a book about images: word images, fictional images, visual images, auditory images. And it is also a book about urban and rural imaginaries. This is a book about two cities in search of their identities. In all these respects, the world metropolis and the small European capital city could stand side by side. In all these respects, they could justifiably be compared.

Book: Electronic (PDF File; 15.192MB). Paperback (Book: Print (Paperback)). Hardback (Book: Print (Hardback)). Published by New Directions in the Humanities, a book imprint by Common Ground Publishing, Illinois.

Mariana Neț

Senior Researcher, “Iorgu Iordan—Alexandru Rosetti” Institute of Linguistics, Romanian Academy, Bucharest, Romania

Mariana Neţ is a senior researcher at the Institute of Linguistics in Bucharest, Romania. She was a visiting scholar at New York University (2007–2008), a guest professor at the University of Perpignan (1993), and a guest lecturer at many universities in Europe and the US. She has published more than 150 scholarly essays in Romanian and international journals. Her recent books include: Alexandre Dumas, écrivain du 21e siècle (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2008); Literature, Strategies, and Metalanguage: A Semiotic Approach (Vienna: ISSS/ÖGS, 2002); Literature, Atmosphere, and Society: A Semiotic Approach (Vienna: ISSS/ÖGS, 2000); Up to the Star: The Life and Work of the Romanian Poet M. Eminescu (Cluj: Clusium, 2000).

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