By Kate Marsh
This ebook examines metropolitan French-language representations of India from the interval among the bear in mind of Dupleix to France, which successfully curtailed French expansionist regulations in India, to the second one Treaty of Paris, which proven the territorial cost of 1763 and France's subordinate place to Britain. Marsh explores what a eu strength, territorially peripheral in India, considered either India and the executive rule there of its rival, Britain. For the French, just like India had a polyvalent nature, functioning either as a trope of exoticism and as a website that used to be inescapably imbued with expansionist failure and the concomitant luck of los angeles perfide Albion. making use of a comparative strategy, and wondering the colonizer-versus-colonized binary which persists inside colonial discourse research, Marsh posits a triangular discursive dating among Britain, France and India. not easy the grand narrative of the British imperial conquest of India, she explores the results for French tradition of competing colonialisms at the Indian subcontinent.
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Extra resources for India in the French Imagination: Peripheral Voices, 1754–1815 (Empires in Perspective)
71 A strong awareness of difference emerges from both the published accounts and the unpublished ones (principally, the bundle of letters between the Minister for the Marine, La Luzerne, and the ambassadors’ translator, Ruffin, along with other miscellaneous documents conserved in the Archives nationales). 72 In a further letter (22 August 1788), after it transpired that the ambassadors had wished to visit Versailles on the feast of St 34 India in the French Imagination Louis, La Luzerne posits the inappropriateness of their visit on a Christian and monarchical day of celebration, stressing their religion: le Roi n’est point dans l’usage de recevoir les ambassadeurs Musulmans si ce n’est en leur accordant une audience séparée, & s’ils vouloient voir la Cour, on les placeroit dans la galerie pour voir passer leurs Majestés, ce qui pourroit ne leur être pas agreeable.
83 Ruffin also notes the public clamour to see the ambassadors on their journey to Brest before setting sail for India. 85 Yet, while Hallier views French curiosity about the Indian ambassadors as evidence of respect for ‘des mœurs exotiques’ (exotic mores),86 it is possible to see in such ‘positive’ curiosity the persistence of more negative essentializing stereotypes. In his Collectionneurs, amateurs et curieux. Paris, Venise: XVIe–XVIIIe siècle (1987), Krzysztof Pomian carries out an extensive examination of the meanings of the word curieux in the eighteenth century.
12 Beginning with an examination of the specific images which were used to signify the alterity of India, this chapter will analyse travellers’ accounts in conjunction with fictional contes and novels. 15 It does not follow, however, that these persistent and recurring images were used in a monolithic way to tell a univocal story of India. The transposition of key images from travellers’ narratives into the realm of fiction exposes intellectual assumptions about India, emphasizing the inherently textual nature of the construct.