L'imagination du poete se nourrit sur la cime des montagnes, aux bords des volcans, sur les mers, sur les champs de bataille Mais les femmes, par leur vie sedentaire et molle, eprouvant moins le contraste du doux et du terrible, peuvent-elles sentir et peindre, meme ce qui est agreable? Peut-etre leur imagination, quoique vive, ressemblet-elle au miroir qui reflechit tout, mais ne cree rien.
He also implicitly adopts the assumptions underlying traditionalistnaturalist discourse 2 on women: that they are by nature inferior to and dependent upon men, that their primary function is to serve as wives and mothers, and that they should therefore be excluded from the public sphere and educated for a strictly domestic role.
Like other traditionalists, Thomas appealed to history, to custom, and above all to nature to justify women's continued subordination. Although Thomas expresses sympathy for the oppressed condition of women, he in no way challenges traditional gender structures.
In fact, his essay tends on the whole only to reinforce misogynic stereotypes: "Par leur nature, [les femmes] sont plus portees a tous les genres de dissimulation," he maintains. For example, Thomas writes: "La nature a donne a l'un des desirs et le droit d'attaquer; a l'autre, la defense et ces desirs timides qui attirent en resistant. After lamenting the moral corruption of eighteenth-century society--due largely, in his view, to a confusion of gender roles and to a disintegration of family ties--Thomas concludes his essay by criticizing his female contemporaries' "unnatural" desire to meddle in politics or to participate in the public sphere in other ways.
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Please click the button below to reload the page. These popular texts testify to levels of crossover between personal experience and intertextual tradition. The settlements around the Indian Ocean Basin received diverse levels of attention by travellers, some of whose journals and travel narratives have only recently been re published. The Indo-Portuguese city of Goa inspired the greatest quantity of testimony. Despite the restrictions of a competitive colonial context, French visitors throughout the seventeenth century left accounts of the diverse population of this settlement.
However, the political and economic nature of French presence means that within this corpus of texts are hints at the possibility of isolated, often marginal, encounters with societies perceived as dynamic, and undergoing considerable transformations. Beginning with a study of the question of race and the classification of populations, it will then explore French representations of unfamiliar socio-economic hierarchies in Asia.
Those who had travelled far outside Europe reflect curiosity about the reasons for this visible physical diversity.
Descriptions, as well as illustrations, of the differences in physiognomy and colour abound in travel narratives, and authors often resorted to comparisons with known topoi to this end. In these texts, reactions could take the form of aesthetic terms of appreciation.
Rather than attribute this trait directly to climate a conclusion which, Bernier implies, was common at the time , he assumed that this was due to some essence. These might be manifested in assertions on character traits which were linked to colour. However, the lexicon had also evolved to denote the populations originating from mixed ethnic groups.
In the Indian Ocean Basin, the echoes of the perception of some essence of human beings were not only mediated through proto-racial or biblical discourses, but through encounters with indigenous or developing hierarchies inseparable from new economic networks. French accounts demonstrate varying levels of interaction with these networks, and reflect the perspective of the peripheral observer on the cultural manifestations of hierarchies.
Despite attempts to gain a greater share in the commercial exploitation of the Indian Ocean Basin, France played a relatively minor role within its economies throughout the seventeenth century. Frequently writing from the perspective of outsiders to the socio-economic systems of the Indian Ocean Basin which they describe, French travellers furnish testimony on the divisions between ethnic groups, and often, the accordance of superior privilege to members of certain groups.
Divisions between peoples also, unsurprisingly, had a strong religious component.
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Pearson and Sanjay Subrahmanyam testify to the large-scale use of slave labour; it has been reported that during the early modern period, while Portugal had a higher percentage of slaves than any other European country, Goa had even more. Certain texts hint at the association between the use of terms indicating servitude and those indicating ethnic origin.
While the notions of achat and possession unambiguously constitute enslavement, Europeans who wrote about their encounters with unfamiliar societies elsewhere recount the existence of hierarchies which curiously reflect existing, familiar hierarchies. When Cauche, on Madagascar, is asked to carry out tasks such as the sacrifice of animals, his reflex is to interpret this as a deference which is directly related both to religion and to skin colour:.
Part I - The Middle Ages to 1789
Here, Cauche depicts blancheur as the marker of authority, as well as being a phenomenon subject to its own internal hierarchy to judge by the respect he claims Europeans were afforded. The socio-economic hierarchies they describe were subject to the mixing of populations, which generated a variety of cultural responses. Texts describing servitude bear witness to the potential tensions within an order built on a problematic social stratification.
The last affirmation is curiously ambiguous; the assurance that the noirs were not to be feared nonetheless hints at the presumption of a notion of crainte in such a society. Elsewhere in the Indian Ocean Basin, settlement patterns parallel those Chantal Maignan-Claverie has described in the case of the Antilles , with a great shortage of families—and of marriageable women—willing to make the voyage to the colonies, even years after their initial settlement. This social status is illustrated by Leonard Y.
These mestizo children were socially located between the cultures of their foreign fathers and their Southeast Asian mothers, and not totally accepted by either. The encounter with the East also reflects a concern with the effects of climate and environment on human beings.
Research in African Literatures
A notable and frequent topos is that of the receptivity of the Asian population to the sexual favours of European men. Pyrard, depicting the market at Goa, claims that slaves acted as maquerelles for their mistresses.
The alliance with a European would be considered honorable:. According to Pyrard, skin colour alone cannot justify the preference for Europeans; the choice of the European may indeed, as Sophie Linon-Chipon writes in relation to this extract, be determined by religious confession. The coexistence of stratified groups within these colonial societies was recognized by certain authors to be the site of tensions, and of unresolved and possibly emergent conflicts.
Baron d'Holbach, by Max Pearson Cushing
Like other popular European anecdotal forms, they are often explicitly cautionary, and demonstrate the inevitable punishment of sin, or astonish the reader by their outlandishness. A number of French accounts refer to the druggings of Europeans by Orientals either to permit infidelity or to take revenge on lovers who wish to leave them. When this part-European, part-Oriental occupied the position of authority that owning slaves implied, she is strikingly depicted as unable to restrain herself and temper its reasonable use.
The suspected infidelity from which both derive their dramatic interest is actualized by the ineffaceable sign of colour. The amourettes which Tavernier claims they embark on with young men recently arrived from Holland reflects the promiscuity attributed by Mocquet and Pyrard to their Portuguese sisters nearly three-quarters of a century previously.
https://porwantphocmoero.ml Tavernier sets the scene for an anecdote with a moral assertion which frames the story in a cautionary manner:. Here, a multiple transgression is made irrevocably visible in a form reminiscent of what Robert J.
However, in the case of a transgressive union in which the father was European, Tavernier presents a notably less subversive outcome. In this case, the transgression of the boundaries of colour is conceived of as an honour for which the slave must be grateful as Linschoten wrote of slaves in Goa. This is finally commuted to a severe punishment which, for the woman, includes a symbolic execution, the annulment of her marriage, and her exclusion from society.
A short report immediately follows this tale of, this time, a femme mestive who deceives her Dutch husband with a Noir. Ultimately, despite their differences, the cautionary thread in these tales is apparent. For Chambelle and Tavernier, the theme of adultery is accompanied by vivid demonstrations of the consequences of the disruption of the colonial order. In early modern colonial societies, they testify to the importance of religion in constituting identity, as well as of other constructions of diversity which reflect socio-economic status as well as birth and race.
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