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Tarascon is between Avignon and Arles, France. In Daudet's 1872 novel "Aventures prodigieuses de Tartarin de Tarascon,"the town was so enthusiastic about hunting that no game lives anywhere near it, so its inhabitants just tell hunting stories and throw their own caps in the air to shoot at them. The chief cap-hunter, Tartarin ("braggart") ["A boastful chatter-box, a clever liar who believed his own lies, he had gained the reputation of a great hunter"] was sent on a hunting expedition to Algérie, where he shot a tame lion before returning home in triumph. The character appeared in 2 sequels "Tartarin sur les Alpes" (1885) and "Port-Tarascon" (1890). The 2nd novel concerned a journey in Switzerland with his friend Bompard. Roped together while trying to cross Mont Blanc, they lost sight of each other; when the rope snagged on a rock, each of them thought the other has fallen and, to prevent themselves from being dragged to their own death, they both cut the rope, sacrificing their friend to save themselves. Bompard reported that Tartarin was lost when his rope broke, and his body was never found, but the rope, "cut at both ends as if with a sharp implement," was located. The rope, then, was proof of falsehood and treachery, but the Tarasconnais, a "race so at ease with tall stories, with audacious and quickly reputed lies," accepted Bompard's tale. In several of his literary works and social settings, apparently to promote his success, Daudet exaggerated his own ties to Provence, including lying to his future wife and collaborator Julia Allard about his supposed "Provençal" roots -- even though he was born in Nîmes and grew up in Lyons.
very good explanation!
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