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  • 1 Gobineau’s case should be added to what has become a varied list of revisions to the original work: e.g., Geoffrey Nash, From Empire to Orient: Travellers to the Middle East, 1830-1926 (London: I.B. Tauris, 2005); Billie Melman, Women's Orients, English Women and the Middle East, 1718-1918: Sexuality, Religion, and Work (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1995); Ali Behdad, Belated Travelers: Orientalism in the Age of Colonial Dissolution (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1994). See also A.L. Macfie, Orientalism: A Reader (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2000).
  • 2 Edward Said, Orientalism: Western Conceptions of the Orient (London: Penguin 1991), p. 16; the other two works besides Schwab’s are by Johann Fuck and Dorothee Metlitzki.
  • 3 Edward Said, Foreword to Raymond Schwab, The Oriental Renaissance: Europe's Rediscovery of India and the East, 1680-1880 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1984), p. ix. Said’s essay first appeared as “Raymond Schwab and the Romance of Ideas” in 1976 and was reprinted in The World, the Text, and the Critic in 1983.
  • 4 Ibid., pp. ix, xvi.
  • 5 See Said, Orientalism, pp. 98-9.
  • 6 Said, Orientalism, p. 79; my emphasis.
  • 7 Said, Foreword, p. xvi.
  • 8 Said, Orientalism, pp. 115, 150.
  • 9 Ibid., p. 115.
  • 10 Schwab, Oriental Renaissance, pp. 216-17. To confirm the great importance that Schwab attributed to the “new beginning” envisioned by Romantic Orientalism one has only to read the final paragraph of Part Three (p. 221).
  • 11 Said, Orientalism, p. 115, original emphases.
  • 12 Ibid., pp. 116-17, my emphasis; pp. 120, 150-51. Said was not alone in departing from Schwab’s positive analysis. In Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization, vol 1. The Fabrication of Ancient Greece 1785-1985 (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1987), Martin Bernal states: “There is no doubt about the extraordinary efforts of the early Orientalists ... Nevertheless, the growth of Orientalism did not simply go with a broadening of horizons, as Quinet and Schwab claimed. In many respects it involved a narrowing of the imagination and intensified feelings of the innate and categorical superiority of European civilization” (p. 236).
  • 13 Said, Orientalism, p. 122. Said points out that Schwab has little to say about Renan in The Oriental Renaissance, as indeed do other nineteenth-century surveys on Orientalism, such as Muller’s and Darmesteter’s (ibid., pp. 338-39, n.44). However, according to Albert Hourani, Renan was “one of the seminal figures in the formation of European ideas about Islam”. Albert Hourani, Islam in European Thought (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991), p. 28.
  • 14 Bernard S. Cohn, Colonialism and Its Forms of Knowledge: The British in India (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996), p. 54.
  • 15 Said, Orientalism, p. 150.
  • 16 Timothy Brennan, “Places of Mind, Occupied Lands: Edward Said and Philology,” in Edward Said: A Critical Reader, edited by Michael Sprinker (Oxford: Blackwell, 1992), p. 81. Elsewhere Brennan contrasts “the expansive, humane philology of Raymond Swab” with the “bad philology of Ernest Renan”. Brennan, “Edward Said and Comparative Literature”, Journal of Palestine Studies, vol. 33, no. 3 (Spring 2004), p. 33.
  • 17 Said, Orientalism, p. 133-34.
  • 18 Schwab, Oriental Renaissance, p. 433.
  • 19 Ibid., pp. 184, 432.
  • 20 Ibid., p. 431. For Gobineau’s statement, see Gobineau, Comte de Gobineau and Orientalism: Selected Eastern Writings, translated by Daniel O’Donoghue, edited with an introduction by Geoffrey Nash (London: Routledge, 2009), p. 113. Schwab also made the curious statement that Gobineau’s oft-derided Treatise on Cuneiform Writings (1864) was “perhaps more important” than Inequality of Human Races.
  • 21 Said, Orientalism, p. 99.
  • 22 Ibid., p. 203.
  • 23 Ibid., p. 206.
  • 24 The title of Michael Biddiss’s 1970 study of Gobineau’s socio-political thought. To support his notion of “the common philological and Orientalist perspective” between Renan and Gobineau (Orientalism, p. 150), Said refers in an endnote to an appreciative letter from Renan to Gobineau concerning, again, Inequality of Human Races (Orientalism, p. 340, n62).
  • 25 See especially Robert J.C. Young, Colonial Desire: Hybridity in Theory, Culture and Race (London: Routledge, 1995), pp. 90-117.
  • 26 Annette and David Smith "Mademoiselle Irnois” and Other Stories [of] Arthur de Gobineau (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1988), p. 13.
  • 27 Jean Boissel, Gobineau: L’Orient et L’Iran, Tome I 1816-1860 (Paris: Editions Klincksieck, 1973), p. 48. According to Boissel (ibid., p. 20) “l’attitude de Gobineau a l’egard de l’Orient, ... rapprochera aisement de celle d’un Novalis ou d’un Nerval” in possessing “le caractere romantique fondamental ... de ce retour aux origines”.
  • 28 Said, Orientalism, pp. 158, 180-81.
  • 29 Ali Behdad, “Oriental Desire, Desire of the Orient”, French Forum, vol. 15, no. 1 (January 1990), p. 45, original emphasis.
  • 30 Said, Orientalism, p. 184.
  • 31 Behdad, “Oriental Desire”, p. 42.
  • 32 Comparable to Nerval’s remarks in the Cairo slave market - see Behdad, “Oriental Desire”, p. 51 n.15.
  • 33 This sympathy, however, strongly contrasted with his attitudes towards the demands for democracy made by the revolutionaries of 1848 back home in Europe. See Boissel, Gobineau, p. 251.
  • 34 Gobineau and Orientalism, pp. 23-24.
  • 35 Jacques Barzun, Race: A Study in Modern Superstition, 1938, p. 79. Todorov also recognises disconnect between Gobineau’s theories of race and his actual pronouncements on the East, in which “he evinces a degree of broadmindedness difficult to reconcile with his racialist reputation” (Tzvetan Todorov, On Human Diversity: Nationalism, Racism, and Exoticism in French Thought (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993), p. 129. However, in comparison with his sympathetic treatment of Central Asian peoples, Gobineau saw China as a future warning as to where democratic despotism and “progress” might lead, fearing that the Chinese, led by Russian generals, might one day invade Europe and destroy its civilization. See Gregory Blue, “Gobineau on China: Race Theory, the ‘Yellow Peril,’ and the Critique of Modernity”, Journal of World History, vol. 10, no. 1 (1999), pp. 93-139.
  • 36 Arthur Gobineau, Qluvres, vol. 3, pp. 305-9; Nash, From Empire to Orient, pp. 128-30.
  • 37 Boissel, Gobineau, p. 314
  • 38 Gobineau and Orientalism, p. 114.
  • 39 Said, Orientalism, p. 157, original emphasis.
  • 40 Said, Orientalism, p. 168.
  • 41 Gobineau, Gobineau and Orientalism, pp. 105-10. Nerval’s epithet is found in his poem “El Desdichado”; see also Benn Sowerby, The Disinherited: The Life of Gerard de Nerval, 1808-1855 (London: Peter Owen, 1973).
  • 42 Boissel, Gobineau, pp. 17-18.
  • 43 Ibid., p. 57.
  • 44 Ibid., p. 18.
  • 45 Ibid., p. 360.
  • 46 “Suppositions, incertitude, doutes naturels, bizarrerie, critiques, viola des terms qui ... laissent mal augurer de l’opinion qui se fait de l’ouvrage” (Boissel, Gobineau, p. 374, original emphases).
  • 47 Said, Orientalism, p. 176.
 
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