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Semantiken des Barbarischen und der Rasse in Flauberts historischem Roman "Salammbô"

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Published in Comparatio : Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft. 2017, vol. 9, no. 2, p. 195-217
Abstract The present article deals with the intertwining semantics of the concepts ‘barbarism’ and ‘race’ in Flaubert’s historical novel Salammbô (1862). The choice of the novel’s rather obscure subject matter, namely the uprising of Carthage’s mercenary armies which led to a ‘truceless’ war, was strongly criticized by Sainte-Beuve. His criticism however was misleading insofar as Flaubert’s novel is not primarily concerned with narrating in a captivating (and orientalist) manner the historical facts of the Mercenary War. It rather aims at narrativizing the concepts that guide the ways in which those facts have been presented by ancient (Polybius) and modern (Michelet, Gobineau et al.) historiographers. Above all, the fundamental concepts of barbarism and race undergo a narrative staging by ways of free indirect discourse: Flaubert produces these concepts’ narrative genealogy by lending them anachronistically to the Carthaginians. It thus becomes evident that ‘race’ emerges from social class and that ‘barbarism’ conceals a blind dynamic of levelling out the very hierarchies that the concept is supposed to establish. Accordingly, the historiographical or anthropological knowledge organized by both concepts turns out to be empty.
Keywords BarbareRacismeRoman historiqueFlaubertHistoire conceptuelle
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WINKLER, Markus. Semantiken des Barbarischen und der Rasse in Flauberts historischem Roman "Salammbô". In: Comparatio : Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Literaturwissenschaft, 2017, vol. 9, n° 2, p. 195-217. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:104256

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Deposited on : 2018-05-09

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