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Arab FranceIslam and the Making of Modern Europe, 1798-1831$
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Ian Coller

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780520260641

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520260641.001.0001

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Cosmopolitanism and Confusion

Cosmopolitanism and Confusion

(p.140) 6 Cosmopolitanism and Confusion
Arab France

Ian Coller

University of California Press

This chapter discusses Joseph Agoub's meteoric success in Paris: within only a few years he was being feted in the Paris salon of Madame Dufrénoy. Then, quite unexpectedly, this success seems to have deserted him in a headlong rush. These images are instructive in demonstrating that the cosmopolitanism of the Restoration, for all its liberal and sometimes sentimental identification with a plural conception of “civilization”, also had its limits. The chapter searches for the reasons for Joseph's inexplicable plunge from the height of fame and success into the backwater of obscurity. He used the “Egyptian” identity that he adopted as a mode of exchange but his Frenchness placed him in an exterior position to both Egypt and France. Alongside the “civilized” Egyptian and the “noble” Arab lay the “barbarian” threat of Islam associated with North Africa.

Keywords:   Joseph Agoub, Paris, Madame Dufrénoy, cosmopolitanism, Restoration, Egyptian, Islam

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