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What Is an Event?$
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Robin Wagner-Pacifici

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226439648

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226439815.001.0001

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Resonating Forms

Resonating Forms

Chapter:
(p.84) Chapter 4 Resonating Forms
Source:
What Is an Event?
Author(s):

Robin Wagner-Pacifici

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226439815.003.0005

This chapter describes the processes by which ruptures take shape and form to become events: wars, revolutions, and financial crashes among them. Principles regarding the informing of events are proposed, including coalescing of forms, combinations of old and new forms, sequences of forms leading to various event trajectories, extensions, and resonances. The chapter discusses the French Revolution as an example of an event with considerable coherence and extension. The exemplar also elicits a discussion of the paradoxical role of deforming violence in many events' formations. Important political, cultural, legal, and social forms and practices nevertheless gave shape to the French Revolution and their representational, demonstrative, and perfomative operations and force are tracked. In particular, the roles of portraits, oaths, and calendars and social rhythms are analyzed. Jacques Louis David's paintings, The Oath of the Horatii and The Intervention of the Sabine Women illustrate the force of such eventful forms and flows in this revolutionary period and introduce the analytical concept of the event pause.

Keywords:   French Revolution, violence, pause, portrait, oath, Jacques Louis David

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