Market Day In Provence by Michèle De La PradelleMarket Day In Provence by Michèle De La Pradelle

Market Day In Provence

byMichèle De La PradelleTranslated byAmy JacobsForeword byJack Katz

Paperback | October 7, 2015

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At farmers’ markets, we expect to see fruit bursting with juicy sweetness and vegetables greener than a golf course. For Michèle de La Pradelle these expectations are mostly the result of a show performed by merchants and sustained by our propensity to see what we want to see there. Hailed upon its release in France, the award-winning Market Day in Provence lays bare the mechanisms of the contemporary outdoor market by providing a definitive account of the centuries-old institution at Carpentras, a city near Avignon in the south of France famous for its quintessential public street market.

The renewal and celebration of the outdoor market culture in recent years, argues de La Pradelle, artfully masks a fierce commitment to modern-day free-market economics. Responding to consumer desire for an experience that recalls a time before impersonal supermarket chains and mass-produced products, buyers and sellers alike create an atmosphere built on various fictions. Vendors at the market at Carpentras, for example, oblige patrons by acting like lifelong acquaintances of those whom they’ve only just met as they dispense free samples and lively, witty banter. Likewise, going to the market to look for “freshness” becomes a way for the consumer to signify the product’s relation to nature—a denial of the workaday reality of growing melons under plastic sheets, then machine-sorting, crating, and transporting them.
Offering captivating descriptions of goods and the friendly and occasionally piquant exchanges between buyers and sellers, Market Day in Provence will be devoured by any reader with an interest in areas as diverse as food, ethnography, globalization, modernity, and French culture.

Michèle de La Pradelle (1944–2004) was director of studies at l'École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales and author of Paris Luxe and Urbanisation et enjeux quotidiens. Amy Jacobs has translated a number of books, including An Anthropology for Contemporaneous Worlds by Marc Augé.    
Title:Market Day In ProvenceFormat:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:October 7, 2015Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226141853

ISBN - 13:9780226141855

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Table of Contents

Foreword to the American Edition, by Jack Katz

Part I - The Market Stage
Chapter 1 City Tour
Chapter 2 Well-Ordered Chaos

Part II - An Economy of Enticement
Chapter 3 The Art of Taking One’s Time
Chapter 4 Familiar Strangers
Chapter 5 Delights of Free Trade

Part III - Commerce of the Imaginary
Chapter 6 “The customer doesn’t go by price here”
Chapter 7 “Pumpkins are rounder at the market”
Chapter 8 “Let me have some pâté, but your pâté”
Chapter 9 “I sell Provence”
Chapter 10 Ordinary Authenticity
Chapter 11 The Truffle Circle

Part IV - Pleasure of the Agora
Chapter 12 Equality of Opportunity
Chapter 13 All at the Market, All in the Same Boat
Chapter 14 In Full View
Chapter 15 Generalized Friendship

Part V - Identity on Offer
Chapter 16 “Do you still make those little caillettes of yours?”
Chapter 17 In the Forebears’ Footsteps

Conclusion: A Moment of Utopia

Editorial Reviews

"A magisterial study into the complexity of the commonplace. . . . [The] text is exemplary, written in a scholarly but delightful style which refuses to take Anthrospeak seriously."