A few days ago, Jack (of Open Range) commented that France, Germany and Australia had the most western fans and it's true for all I know, but looking through blogs over the weekend I ran across the blogs.amctv.com/futureclassics site which had an article on French western movies in May, entitled "Think Westerns Can't be French? Au Contraire" which tended to support the fact that the French adore westerns. The article's author, Robert Silva, listed ten French actors in westerns starting with Joe Hamman going back to the early 1900's, and intimates that the French and Indian Wars may have had something to do with the French being cowboy-ized. Robert Silva's column, Westerns, appears every Saturdy on that blog it says.
I have to say that I was in Paris from about July 1964 until Le Grand General DeGaulle expelled all foreign forces from French soil in '66, and as much as the French adore their bookstores, I never laid eyes on a western, but most of the covers those days seemed to be dull to me and never stood out. In those years I wasn't into westerns much, anyway, and I wouldn't have been looking for one in the French language since my rudimentary French was completely uninterpretable. I'm sure they were available in English at Le Drugstore on the Champs. I did pickup a sortofa western by Henry Miller, "The Tropic of Cancer", and "The Tropic of Capricorn," his autobiographical meanderings which had previously been banned in the U.S. because of language, bad, bad language. I thought they were well-written, funny, and enertaining. The western part of it comes from his former residence in Big Sur, California, about as far west as you can get and still be in the continental U.S.
Even though I didn't know French, I visited the bookstores to catch up on books available in the U.S. through either "Time" or "Newsweek" magazine. I used to follow the top ten all the time, a carryover from my High School English Class and an argument with a fellow swabbie on a ship we were serving on. For some odd reason we used to memorize the top ten then argue about them, either the numbers or the books or both. It was a great life.
Well, I got off the subject again, something that rarely happens (he chuckles). Now, if I can only find something about the German western fans.......
BULLETIN! BULLETIN JUST IN Wed Afternoon: A short story I wrote and submitted to thewesternonline.com site has been published therein entitled, Working for the Pawnee and Oto Agency. Check it out and enjoy the story.