Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Villepin's Fowl Play

For Marx it was "rural idiocy," but suddenly le monde rural is the latest in Parisian chic, and every Mme Verdurin wants un plouc to add color to her salon. Villepin has followed his former dircab Le Maire onto the floor of Le Salon de l'Agriculture, which has become contested terrain because Sarko turned up his nose at the idea of appearing on opening day. "C'est une magnifique poule soie !" Villepin, not hitherto known as a connoisseur of exotic fowl, exclaimed. I'm impressed. Sarkozy will attempt to reap what others have sown on closing day, but it looks as though he's going to have to pat a lot of bovine rump if he wants to win back the hearts of the peasantry.


CJWilly said...

I love French back-to-the-eartherism. It is such a self-consciously parochial counter to equally romantic "Jacobin" universalism.

Have you read "Ravage" by René Barjavel? It's a great novel set in 2050 about the collapse of technological society and the return to simple peasant life in Provence. It was written in... 1942! I read it for the first time as a teenager in an edition which had study notes putting it in the context of peasant romanticism, the catastrophe of World War being one caused by modernity itself, and Vichyite ideology. Lovely stuff!

Unknown said...

Yes, it's of course easy to mock the romance of rurality from my cozy urban office, but I must say that whenever je me mets au vert pour me ressourcer en Bourgogne ou Provence, I quickly change my tune and entertain fantasies about retiring as a country squire. Of course I would quickly die if I had to live off the land, and I require a high-speed Internet connection wherever I go--less of a problem these days than it used to be, even among the goats and geese.