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Henriette Asseo

Figures bohémiennes et fiction, l’âge des possibles 1770-1920

Le Temps des médias n°14, Printemps 2010, p. 12-27.

The theme of the Bohemians (Gypsies, Zigeuner, Zingari, Gitanos) has spawned a continuous interest throughout the arts and literature of Europe. Against an overly simplistic approach of Romani societies, which sees them as a mix of outcasts and colorful figures, this paper shows how the Romantic era saw the constitution of a culture of interaction between the elite of the art world and Roma people. This relationship is characterized by actual exchanges, scholarly observation, and the projection of an aesthetic sensibility. The Romani people take an important part in the arts and media of the second half of the 19th century, when fictional embodiments of the Bohemian play a major role in the urban culture of entertainment. The various developments of the theme could be aimed at both the aristocrat and the commoner, as the so-called gipsyness was as suitable for the non-conformist aristocracy of Europe as it was for the spreading of an emerging mass culture. DrapeauFrancais

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