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Gossip And Street Culture In Early Modern Venice

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Chapter Summary

This is a chapter of the spatial, social and cultural context of gossip in early modern Venice based on oral testimony to the magistracy of the Avogaria di Comun, and centering on the making of marriages. It explores some of the issues in relation to the interaction between the street, shops and domestic interiors in early modern Venice through a study of gossip. Early modern street culture had many elements to it, some of them observatory, some of them participatory. Gossip brought the two together, for the topics of conversation were often stimulated by sight, smell or sounds rather than by what had been heard from others. The chapter considers the role of visual observation as a basis for gossip; the spatial context for visual observation; Male gossip, female gossip and the street; and the role of gossip as a mechanism for deliberately circulating information within the community.

Keywords: Gossip; marriages; Street Culture; Venice



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