xiii Acknowledgments Without the love, support, encouragement, patience, and understanding of my wife, Angela, and our daughters, Sophie and Alice, this book would never have happened. The calming presence of our cat, Musette, helped a lot, too. Modern France is dedi- cated to them. I also acknowledge the support and inspiration for this project that has come from my institution, William & Mary, and from my colleagues and students in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and the French and Franco- phone Studies Program. Many of the ideas and analyses in this book came out of and have been tested in my French literature and culture classes at William & Mary. Two William & Mary people deserve special recognition for their vital contributions to this volume. The first is Joe Plumeri, the generous benefactor of the Plumeri Award for Faculty Excellence, which I am honored to have received in 2018. This award sus- tained me during part of the writing of this volume and funded travel to France for research. The second is my student, Sonali Gobin, who helped me with revisions for the semifinal version of the manuscript. I appreciate the professionalism of everyone at ABC-CLIO, especially that of the supportive and skillful editors who accompanied the manuscript through its various stages of writing and production: Kaitlin Ciarmi- ello, Erin Ryan, and Nicole Azze. Thank you for not giving up on me when this project started taking longer than planned. Kudos as well to Kousalya Devi Krishnamoorthy and Amnet for capably ushering this book through the final production phase. My own voyage of discovery of France began forty years ago to the sound of a cassette of Yves Montand’s famous 1981 concert at L’Olympia playing on the car stereo of my French host, Alain Breton, who picked me and my three American program mates from Xavier University up at Paris Orly Airport. The fascination, and the fear, of those first moments are still palpable. Since then, I have come to consider France my second patrie, thanks in large part to Angela, ma française, and to her family. I wish I could keep on writing because I am still learning new things, and unlearning some old ones, every day about this complex, contradictory, and charming country. A final merci therefore goes to the people of France, past and present, for giving me so much to think about over the years. There is still a lot of grandeur in you. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.