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Black Venus


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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix
Acknowledgments xi
Introduction: Theorizing Black Venus 1
Writing Sex, Writing DIfference: Creating the Master Text on the Hottentot Venus 16
Representing Sarah- Same Difference or No Difference at All? La Venus hottentote, ou haine au Francaises 32
"The Other Woman": Reading a Body of Difference in Balzac's La Fille aux Yeux d'or 42
Black Blood, White Masks, and Negresse Sexuality in de Pon's Ourika, l'Africaine 52
Black Is the Difference: Identity, Colonialism, and Fetishism in La Belle Dorothee 62
Desirous and Dangerous Imaginations:: The Black Female Body and the Courtesan in Zola's Therese Raquin 71
Can a White Man Love a Black Woman? Perversions of Love beyond the Plae in Maupassant's "Boitelle" 86
Bamboulas, Bacchanals, and Dark Veils over Whtie Memories in Loti's Le Roman d'un spahi 91
Cinematic Venus in the Africanist Orient 105
Epilogue 119
Appendix: The Hottentot Venus, or Hatred of Frenchwomen 127
Notes 165
Works Cited 177
Index 185

About the Author

T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting is Associate Professor of French, Film Studies, Comparative Literature, and African American Studies at Purdue University. She is the author of Frantz Fanon: Conflicts and Feminisms and coeditor of Spoils of War: Women of Color, Cultures, and Revolutions and Fanon: A Critical Reader.


"A cogently argued study of representations of black women in French literature. In locating the Black Venus and the ideologies surrounding and informing her representations at the center of literary and cultural narratives, this book makes significant interventions in nineteenth-century French studies and current race and gender studies." Thadius M. Davis, Vanderbilt University "Intellectually rigorous, extremely well written, and solidly arguing against the dated French (and European) conceptualizations of black female sexuality. What a refreshing and much needed addition!" Marjorie Attignol Salvodon, Conneccticut College

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