August 17, 2005
It appears that the Sheikhly Love item has legs
I draw your attention to the Aardvark's The Desert and the Dancing Girls.
Perhaps more expert authors can add to this small note.
Posted by The Lounsbury at August 17, 2005 11:28 AM
Filed Under: Op-Ed
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Speaking as one of the most learned authors around in terms of been-on-a-desert-safari-thrice, I can confirm that many of the "dancing girls" in Dubai are in fact Russian, or CIS. I once saw one who was apparently South American-Lebanese, but I've yet to hear of a proper Arab one, let alone an Egyptian (who apparently are the best).
Posted by: secretdubai at August 17, 2005 02:26 PM
Secretdubai's comment is a bit intriguing, since I've always heard that the preferred addenda to Turkish sultan's harem had always been Slavs...of course, that no doubt has to more to do with the Ottoman system (since all females in the harem had to be slaves, and no born-Muslim could be slaves, etc--the same reason most Turkish janissaries were also Slavic, I guess.).
Posted by: kao_hsien_chih at August 17, 2005 07:52 PM
Comments on Abu Aardvark's site remind us that Flaubert was rather known for whoring around.
From Flaubert in Egypt (tran. Steegmuller, 1973), after an evening with Kuchak Hanem, described by Edward Said as "a famous Egyptian dancer and courtesan":
We have a large orchestra, a rich palette, a variety of resources. We know many tricks and dodges, probably, than were ever known before. No, what we lack is the intrinsic principle, the soul of the thing, the very idea of the subject. We take notes, we make journeys: emptiness! emptiness! We become scholars, archaeologists, historians, doctors, cobblers, people of taste. What is the good of all that? Where is the heart, the verve, the sap? Where to start from? Where to go? We're good at sucking, we play a lot of tongue-games, we pet for hours: but the real thing! To ejaculate, beget the child!
In fairness to Flaubert, that last bit was probably "jouir, engendrer," which isn't nearly as, um, direct. Still, given The Temptation of Saint Anthony and Salammbo, the desert and the dancing girls just *might* be a fair representation of Flaubert's (and his Romantic colleagues') ideas about the East.
Hence all those damn "odalisques" in nineteenth-century French art.
Posted by: Jackmormon at August 18, 2005 06:36 PM
Hmmm, Jouir. No, that ends up being Cum in modern usage.
At least in my experience.
Posted by: The Lounsbury at August 19, 2005 03:01 PM
Modern, non-Lacanian usage, yes--in the 19th c, it was a little more poetic.
Posted by: Jackmormon at August 19, 2005 03:20 PM
Being an economist, I have no idea what Lacanian usage means, but point taken. Of course, being a corrupt amoral semiliterate scum, I suppose it is unsuprising what usages I actually know......
Posted by: The Lounsbury at August 19, 2005 03:27 PM
"It appears that the Sheikhly Love item has legs"
You don't know the half of it, my dear.
In any case, I think Sheikhly Love will be 'Aqoul's "thing" from now on, the way Bou has the Nancy-Haifa Culture Wars.
Posted by: eerie at August 19, 2005 07:16 PM
Eerie, did you see this item?
My German's not so good, but from what I made out, we are all Arabist colleagues, and the link to my post describes me as a "blogging coworker of the Middle East News Agency." Someone whose German is better might be able to figure whether that writer was joking.
Posted by: Jackmormon at August 19, 2005 08:43 PM
Hah, I had no idea. My German is nonexistent, but I'm sure a few people here can read it.
A US reporter emailed me about the graph a couple of days ago. Very strange.
Posted by: eerie at August 19, 2005 09:33 PM
Well, that is odd.
I would take the reference to MENA agency as tongue in cheek I think, but frankly it is a wierd little story. Also see this one: http://www.heise.de/tp/r4/artikel/20/20767/1.html
This our cachet? Bloody hell, I think it was the bloody graph.
Posted by: lounsbury at August 20, 2005 07:54 AM
Of course it was the graph! Random speculation suddenly became science!
The Heise.de writers seem to be pulling articles out of their asses, btw.
Posted by: Jackmormon at August 20, 2005 09:15 AM
I'm another liguistic ignoramus that just saw the German site, but the impression I get is that it might be the German equivalent of the Onion, but then I speak nor read no German, so...
Posted by: kao_hsien_chih at August 22, 2005 10:43 PM