Jürgen Habermas: The Beginning

by Christian Parreno

Only with the reign of Philip of Orleans, who moved the royal residence from Versailles to Paris, did the court lose its central position in the public sphere,  indeed  its status as the public sphere. For inasmuch as the ‘town’ took over its cultural functions, the public sphere itself was transformed.

The  sphere  of  royal representation  and  the grand gout of Versalles became a façade held up only with effort. The regent and his two successors preferred  small social gatherings,  if not the family circle itself, and  to a certain  degree  avoided the etiquette. The  great ceremonial gave way to an almost bour­geois intimacy.

Jürgen Habermas (1962) The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere.

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