Of particular interest to me in this article, was the relation of a “scopophilic” gaze. Flaubert keeps drawing a wider net, according to Karayanni. This is true for all Imperialists seeking to “understand” landscape in a grander sense, and by attaching what he knows to a “larger context” (such as antiquity and the “knowledge” of the “West”), the Imperialist dominates and “knows” the subject more than the subject knows itself. Intellectual “Context,” having the resources and ambition to put “the Orient” into a wider or Western context becam a form of domination. Interesting.
Back to the dance aspects, Karayanni ends again with choreography. Her movements gave both men the option to be transformed by what they saw, where determined to see, as the anti-Western, native or savage side of Egyptian society. Flaubert succumbed and dismissed his emotions in a letter to Louise Colet and obsessed about Kuchuk Hanem for years. Curtis wrote that he had resisted fully succumbing to her power in order to assert his superiority. Her image remained in Flaubert’s “Salammbo,” “Herodias,” and the figure of Salome.
Karayanni, Stavros Stavrou. “Dismissal Veiling Desire.” Ch. 4 in Belly Dance: Orientalism, Transnationalism, and Harem Fantasy. Eds., Anthony Shay and Barbara Sellers-Young. Mazda Publishers, 2005.
Also his own book:
Stavrou Karayanni, Stavros (2004), Dancing Fear & Desire: Race, Sexuality and Imperial Politics in Middle Eastern Dance, Wilfred Laurier University Press, ISBN 0889204543
Photo taken just outside of Siwa, January 2010.