Market Day in Provence

Michele De La Pradelle, Author, Amy Jacobs, Translator University of Chicago Press $37.5 (266p) ISBN 978-0-226-14184-8
Rich in descriptions of French market life and observations about those who live it, de La Pradelle's (1944 - 2004) book quickly lays bare the gap between what open air market patrons believe-that bargains on superior food and goods are the primary reason to attend-and the truth: sellers display goods in way that ""guarantees that this is a homemade product prepared with loving care,"" but the goods were purchased from the same wholesalers who sell to the supermarkets. (One pate; vendor confesses, ""We have to lie.... If I don't say I made it myself, they don't think it's as good."") The market's allure lies in the implied permission attendees gain to act out old-world neighborliness in a setting where ""one can for an instant establish an apparently intimate relationship with someone one doesn't know from Adam."" It's a naïvete vendors exploit by engaging customers in chummy banter while selling them mass produced products. The vendors' methods of selling (and sizeable profit margins) will also burst the bubble of anyone who thinks farmers are a simple people who eek by on meager earnings. Jacobs's translation is nearly transparent, making this book a testament to de La Pradelle's keen field reporting chops and an elegy to old world innocence. Photos.
Reviewed on: 04/03/2006
Release date: 04/01/2006
Show other formats
FORMATS
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.