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Cock and Bull Stories, Cock and Bull Stories, 0803249209, 0-8032-4920-9, 978-0-8032-4920-2, 9780803249202, Robert Zaretsky, , Cock and Bull Stories, 0803204132, 0-8032-0413-2, 978-0-8032-0413-3, 9780803204133, Robert Zaretsky, , Cock and Bull Stories, 0803218389, 0-8032-1838-9, 978-0-8032-1838-3, 9780803218383, Robert Zaretsky

Cock and Bull Stories
Folco de Baroncelli and the Invention of the Camargue
Robert Zaretsky

hardcover
2004. 190 pp.
Illus., Map
978-0-8032-4920-2
$19.95 s
 
paperback
2008. 208 pp.
978-0-8032-1838-3
$19.95 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-siècle 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.


Robert Zaretsky is an associate professor in the Honors College and Department of Modern and Classical Languages at the University of Houston and the author of Nîmes at War: Religion, Politics, and Public Opinion in the Department of the Gard, 1938–1944.

“Robert Zaretsky’s engrossing story of the ways in which a distinctive local identity was constructed in the late nineteenth century. . . . makes a real contribution to a genre that has produced some of the finest writing on modern France. . . . An insightful and thought-provoking book, based on an impressive knowledge of this region and its history. Like Zaretsky’s prose, the books’s production is of the highest quality.”—Peter McPhee, American Historical Review

“This is a suggestive book that students of regional identities and cross-cultural contact will want to read.”—H-France Review

“This is an interesting book, well worth reading. Compact and nicely written. . . . it is in some ways a publisher’s dream.”—John Merriman, History


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