Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Beast, again.

"That the relations between wolves and French people were unrelentingly adversarial until the nineteenth century is now...beyond dispute." (Smith 166) One article I found in JSTOR turned out to be a book review of two texts that "are linked by their diametrically opposed objectives." (165) Both explore the French view on wolves previous to the nineteenth century-- but while one viewed the French's distaste as only that, the author of the other text believed that there were wolves that "sometimes behaved very badly indeed," the other focuses on the "human perception of animals." (165) The reviewer of the two books is inconclusive when it comes to stating whether or not these man-killing wolves (including the beast of Gévaudan ) actually existed, though did share some interesting (though possibly skewed) information on the supposed French wolf-attacks: eight three percent of victims were woman, eighty four of the total were children; these groups were more susceptible because of the large amount of time they spent guarding herd animals in the fields and woods. The author of the article that provides this information also offers a few explanations for the wolf's bloodlust, including rabies and "loups-garous.. .wolf-men..." (166)

Another article that I found through JSTOR was mostly concerned with the general "Appearances of Beasts and Mystery-Cats in France" (also the title of the article). Though the beast was mentioned often throughout the text, it was used mostly as a sort of…marker of how dangerous a purported beast or 'mystery cat' attack really was. (Campion-Vincent 172)

Works cited

Campion-Vincent, Véronique. "Appearances of Beasts and Mystery-Cats in France." Folklore 103.2 (1992): 160-83. Print.

Smith, Jay M. "Subjugated Animals: Animals and Anthropocentrism in Early Modern European Culture." Rev. of Subjugated Animals: Animals and Anthropocentrism in Early Modern European Culture and Histoire Du Méchant Loup: 3000 Attaques Sur L'homme En France, XVe–XXe Siècle. JSTOR. Web. 21 Apr. 2011. < ext=Culture.&searchText=Animals&searchText=Modern&searchText=Early&searchText=Subjuga ted&searchText=Anthropocentrism&searchText=European&list=hide&searchUri=%2Faction%2F doBasicSearch%3FQuery%3DSubjugated%2BAnimals%253A%2BAnimals%2Band%2BAnthropoce ntrism%2Bin%2BEarly%2BModern%2BEuropean%2BCulture.%26acc%3Don%26wc%3Don&prev Search=&item=1&ttl=3&returnArticleService=showFullText>.

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