Cosmopolitanism and Confusion

Ian Coller

in Arab France

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780520260641
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520947542 | DOI:
Cosmopolitanism and Confusion

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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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

Chapter.  9784 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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