Many editions of Edward W. Said’s classic study Orientalism (1978) feature on the cover a detail from a captivating oil painting by French artist Jean-Léon Gérôme.1 Entitled The Snake Charmer, this striking work, which dates from around 1879–1880, has become almost synonymous with Said’s revered inquiry into “the way cultural dominance . . . operated” when Western culture turned its attention—as it did so frequently in the nineteenth century—to the Middle East (1994, 28).2 More recently, Gérôme’s Snake Charmer generated further interest when it was a centerpiece in the magnificent exhibition of his art that was shown at the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles), the Musée d’Orsay (Paris), and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza (Madrid) in 2010–11. The exquisite catalog accompanying this event contains an informative entry by Dominique de Font-Réaulx, who remarks that when Gérôme and his contemporaries (such as Charles...
The Homoerotics of Orientalism by Joseph Allen Boone
Joseph Bristow is distinguished professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles. His recent books include a study coauthored with Rebecca N. Mitchell, Oscar Wilde’s Chatterton: Literary History, Romanticism, and the Art of Forgery (2015) and an edited collection, Oscar Wilde and the Cultures of Childhood (2017). His recent essays on Wilde and his circle have appeared in Études Anglaises and Feminist Theory. He is currently coediting (with Mitchell and Yvonne Ivory) Wilde’s unpublished writings for Oxford University Press.
Joseph Bristow; The Homoerotics of Orientalism by Joseph Allen Boone. Twentieth-Century Literature 1 June 2018; 64 (2): 247–258. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0041462X-6941928
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