Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

The Fantastic (as) Negligent Orientalism in Honoré de Balzac’s La Peau de chagrin

The Fantastic (as) Negligent Orientalism in Honoré de Balzac’s La Peau de chagrin <p>Abstract:</p><p>This article begins by examining how depictions of the fantastic in Balzac’s <i>La Peau de chagrin</i> rely on associations with the Orient. Extending Edward Said’s argument that the nineteenth-century French Realist novel expressed the West’s desire for imperial mastery over the Orient, this article argues that the fantastic elements in Balzac’s novel illustrate the failure to achieve this wished-for mastery. In fact, the misrepresentations and mistranslations surrounding the Orientalist interpretation of the eponymous supernatural talisman’s inscription cast doubt on the idea that European scientific thinking and Realist writing produce reliable knowledge about either Europe or the Orient. Finally, the misinterpretation of the talisman’s script prompts a discussion of the history of the arabesque, which provides a model for thinking about how Orientalist interpretation, as a series of misrepresentations, is intertwined with the mimetic practices of Balzac’s novel.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nineteenth-Century French Studies University of Nebraska Press

The Fantastic (as) Negligent Orientalism in Honoré de Balzac’s La Peau de chagrin

Nineteenth-Century French Studies , Volume 48 (3) – May 6, 2020

Loading next page...
 
/lp/university-of-nebraska-press/the-fantastic-as-negligent-orientalism-in-honor-de-balzac-s-la-peau-de-1g5PHcF5AM

References

References for this paper are not available at this time. We will be adding them shortly, thank you for your patience.

Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Nebraska Press
ISSN
1536-0172

Abstract

<p>Abstract:</p><p>This article begins by examining how depictions of the fantastic in Balzac’s <i>La Peau de chagrin</i> rely on associations with the Orient. Extending Edward Said’s argument that the nineteenth-century French Realist novel expressed the West’s desire for imperial mastery over the Orient, this article argues that the fantastic elements in Balzac’s novel illustrate the failure to achieve this wished-for mastery. In fact, the misrepresentations and mistranslations surrounding the Orientalist interpretation of the eponymous supernatural talisman’s inscription cast doubt on the idea that European scientific thinking and Realist writing produce reliable knowledge about either Europe or the Orient. Finally, the misinterpretation of the talisman’s script prompts a discussion of the history of the arabesque, which provides a model for thinking about how Orientalist interpretation, as a series of misrepresentations, is intertwined with the mimetic practices of Balzac’s novel.</p>

Journal

Nineteenth-Century French StudiesUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: May 6, 2020

There are no references for this article.