Cock and Bull Stories
U of Nebraska Press, 2004 - 190 pagina's
In the French Camargue?the delta surrounding the mouth of the Rhone River and part of the southern ?nation? of Occitania?the bull is a powerful icon of nationalism, literature, and culture. How this came to be?how the Camargue bull came to confront the French cock, venerable symbol of a unified and republican France?is the story told in this ingenious study. Robert Zaretsky considers how in fin-de-si_cle France the young writer Folco de Baroncelli, inspired by the history of the American West, in particular the fate of the Oglala Sioux and other Native American peoples, reinvented the history of Occitania. Galvanized by the example set by Buffalo Bill Cody, Baroncelli recast the Camargue as ?le far-west? of France, creating the ?immemorial? traditions he battled to protect.
Zaretsky?s study examines the creative tension between center and periphery in the making of modern France: just as the political and intellectual elite of the Third Republic ?invented? a certain kind of France, so too did a coterie of southern writers, including Baroncelli, ?invent? a certain kind of Camargue. The story of how the Camargue bull challenged the French cock in this ideological and cultural Wild West deepens our appreciation of the complex dynamic that has created contemporary France.
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