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SexagonMuslims, France, and the Sexualization of National Culture$
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Mehammed Amadeus Mack

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780823274604

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823274604.001.0001

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Uncultured Yet Seductive: The Trope of the Difficult Arab Boy

Uncultured Yet Seductive: The Trope of the Difficult Arab Boy

Chapter:
(p.130) 3 Uncultured Yet Seductive: The Trope of the Difficult Arab Boy
Source:
Sexagon
Author(s):

Mehammed Amadeus Mack

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823274604.003.0004

This chapter surveys representations of the Arab male in contemporary French and Francophone literature. It argues that Arab men, especially those who show signs of ethnic affirmation, are often cast outside privileged circles of “gay” space just as they are eroticized. This can happen in narratives about sex tourism, about the mixing of classes and ethnicities in metropolitan France, or in those that concern the French cultural elite, wherein Arab men are posited as threats and nuisances to gay cultural, esthetic, and philosophical sensibilities. This is especially the case at moments of literary collaboration between Arab and white authors, or when Arab partners try to assert themselves in a literary or intellectual sense. There is of course a backlash against this intellectual belittling, both from a subsequent generation of white gay writers as well as from emergent Franco-Arab voices. This chapter pays special attention to how post-colonial resentment about past inter-ethnic belittling is portrayed via the historical motif of the “Arab boy,” transplanted from an exploited status in colonial settings to an un-assimilated status in contemporary France.

Keywords:   Arab boy, Nina Bouraoui, Renaud Camus, Francophone literature, Maghreb, Frédéric Mitterrand, sex tourism, Abdellah Taïa

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