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The French RepublicHistory, Values, Debates$
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Edward Ducler Berenson, Vincent Duclert, and Christophe Prochasson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449017

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449017.001.0001

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(p.324) 36 Commemoration
The French Republic

Daniel J. Sherman

Cornell University Press

This chapter considers acts of commemoration and the concept of memory in the republican framework. As commemoration seeks to reinforce the solidarity of a community by fixing a common version of events that have in some way disrupted it, the challenge and dilemma of republican commemoration lies in the fact that the Republic's claim on the community, the French nation, has long been contested, and the events it tried to stabilize included those that repeatedly created and destroyed it. However, as a distinctively modern form of political praxis, commemoration has evolved along with the Republic; it has roots in, or connections to, popular festivals, public art, and political symbolism, but its distinct role lies in seeking to prompt affinity and allegiance in a number of registers.

Keywords:   commemoration, republican commemoration, allegiance, political affinity, political symbolism, French nation

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