Sex og orientalisme - med Gustave Flaubert i hamam

  • Mehmet Necef


Mehmet Ümit Necef: Sex and Orientalism – with Gustave Flaubert in Hamam In his influential study “Orientalism“ Edward Said almost demonises the intimate and sexual relations between Orientals and Western intellectuals and authors, who in the 1800’s and early 1900’s visited the Orient. His main target among these travellers is Gustave Flaubert. This article discusses the question as to why Said silences Flaubert’s homoerotical interests. I posit the thesis that this is because Flaubert’s multifaceted sexuality does not fit nicely into Said’s theoretical ideas about the hierarchies and dichotomies of Western “Orientalist“ thought. I also argue that Said’s theoretical frame of reference makes it impossible for him to fully acknowledge sexual cultural differences between Northwest Europe and the Turkish/Arabic countries. Finally, I argue that Said’s theories obstruct a full appreciation of Flaubert’s pleasure of meeting the other and his openness to self-development through such meetings.