Symbols of French nation and state: rooster vs eagle in the 18th & 19th century corpus

With some vague rabbitings on my silence and the rebirth of the humanities.

I suppose I’d always thought of the revolutionaries and then Napoleon as market changers who invented ideas and hard-sold them to the public, but Ngram Viewer seems to kind of sugggest that they were late riders on two popular bestial waves. What happens to the new emblem of popular, Gaulish (away with Clovis and Christianity!) nationhood, “coq”, in the 1780s and -90s is interesting and counter-intuitive, until you remember that Google is still not panoptical with respect to stuff like the marvellous plate above.

I haven’t been blogging recently because of work and life pressures, but also because I have been rather overwhelmed by the amount of primary materials now available via Google Books. Maybe something useful will come out of my reading, maybe not, but I find it extraordinary to hear academic parasites cs pretending that the loss of some of their jobs and increases in tuition fees for the middle classes somehow signify the death of the humanities. When as a small boy for Christmas my marvellous Liverpool Welsh granny gave me a paperback translation of Orlando furioso, I would never have dreamt of being able to read the original and its imitations and sources in hyper-facsimile in bed.

Speaking languages other than English and knowing about anything that happened more than 20 years ago may have lost virtually all the economic and social cachet they once certainly had, but anyone who regards the current state of affairs (including academic cuts) as anything but a new Renaissance strikes me as disingenuous or naive.

Update: Candide said:

Oh, them! Always Gauls in literature and French in politics (never mind the resiste/ance they put up against the latter).

And the Germans admiring them although most recently they immitate the English/Yanks, the latter attitude being ridiculous for the obvious Anglo-Saxon common heritage and the former now again a distinctive feature for the better educated, never mind the Gallo-Frenchs’ fundamental and (fortunately) unresolved dichotomy.

What role Spain and even (less) Catalonia have to play in this, as in the rest of the world’s dealings, is up to the perceivings and judgings of the truely romantic soul; which will be German, obviously, English, by extension, and French by cultural influence of both; but never really Spanish, nor of any of its parts.

I think the Dutch, or until climate change really settles in maybe even more their Flemish brethren, once they find their place might help out with some entirely new insight, as would befit (and has before) those who have to live against the flood.

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