Racial Fetishism in the Nineteenth-Century Illustrated Magazine


© Lou Charnon-Deutsch

The mass production of works of art through improved printing technologies resulted in the commodification of images in late nineteenth-century Spanish urban culture. At the same time images of the female body and its accouterments became overvalued and thus fetishized objects primarily directed towards a bourgeois male spectator enthralled with sensuous representations of exotic women. The scopic practices of nineteenth-century Spanish magazines operated on two different levels corresponding to the two conceptions of fetishism with which we are most familiar: commodity fetishism, as the concept was first outlined in Marx's Capital and later refined by William Pietz, Jack Amariglio, Antonio Callari and others, and psychological or "phallic" fetishism, that evolved beginning in the 1880s from Freudian psychoanalysis and which has recently been elaborated as imperial fetishism in the work of Anne McClintock. These two forms of fetishism merge in the ubiquitous magazine images of Turkish, Gypsy, Circassian, North-African and other exotics draped in gold coins that exemplify what, separately and with somewhat different conclusions, Anne McClintock, Homi Bhabha, and Kobena Mercer have called racial fetishism. These 'metallurgical wonders,' as we could call them, have a triple role: as evidence of the relation between the commodification of the magazine image and the objectification of women, as psychological fetishes related to the male gaze, and, finally, as traces of a cross-cultural problematic expressing anxieties of loss, nostalgia, and envy played out on the exotic female body, a symbolic good beyond the readers' reach in a material sense. In the heady reproduction of thousands of exotic portraits that decorated the pages of late nineteenth century illustrated magazines, it is impossible to extract a parodic or political critique of the alienated, colonized, exotic female subject as Emily Apter believes may be the case with the twentieth century fetishism aesthetic. In the pre-modernist period from 1875 to 1900 this subversive reading is not available to us; to understand the fetishism of these repetitive images, we have to look for their meaning first in the desire for expanding markets, and second, as an expression of sexual malaise and especially national loss and national longing.

Marx deployed the image of the fetish as an analytical tool in his later writing to critique the bourgeois commodification of objects that appear as "hieroglyphs in the riddle of our own social labor" (Foster 252). His use of the term reflected his interest in so-called primitive religions (via Charles de Brosses's 1760 Du culte des dieux fétiches), not in the shoes, feet, fur and other objects that came to be regarded as modern sexual symbols. He was not thinking of images per se when he conceived of the metaphor, rather he was using the religious fetish that anthropologists like de Brosses claimed were revered in primitive religions to move the discussion of idolatry in capitalist society to the realm of the material. The image of the fetish helped him to describe capitalism as an object of disgust (Mitchell 187) because its modes of production inflected value-consciousness (Pietz 1987, 11). According to W.J.T. Mitchell, Marx would look askance at the practice of crudely applying his theory of fetishism to the discussion of poems, novels and works of art, that is, of reducing art to a mere commodity that reflects bourgeois self-deception, which is why it is not sufficient to study merely the content of literary or graphic images. Works of art, even of bourgeois art, may be transcendental, contradictory, and enigmatic, to use Marx's own terms, even if they embody bourgeois ideals, as in the case of Balzac's fiction, for example, that Marx preferred to that of Zola.
Works of art, according to Marx, may also be "mystical" and it is important to understand what is meant by the term "mystical" in this context. Commodity fetishism is a kind of double forgetting, first the capitalist forgets that he has projected life and value into a commodity in the ritual of exchange, and then the commodity veils itself in familiarity and triviality and becomes understood as a natural or self-evident form of social life. The deepest magic of the commodity fetish is its denial that there is anything magical about it. The intermediate steps of the process of establishing value vanish in the result leaving no trace behind for most consumers. This is why it is important to study the mode of production of magazine images and the way that the mechanical reproduction of art leads to a "naturalization" of certain kinds of images. Their mode of mass production and circulation qualifies them as a commodity that achieved the status of fetish in the Marxist sense. That is, there is something mysterious in their production and value that was not self-evident to consumers. On the other hand, if it is the nature of commodity fetishes that men treat them "as if they were people" (Mitchell 190), this is doubly so when the object, the commodity, is in fact a close-up image of a person, a mesmerizing portrait beckoning to the viewer, so the second part of this article addresses the fetishistic properties and effects of magazine portraiture and argues that the fetishized portrait gathers to it disparate meanings that accrue to it through repetition. Finally, when the image provides an obvious homology between sex and money, between the rescue and possession of racialized women and the need for Western "rescues" of an imperialist nature, between coins and flesh, then we are in the realm of racial/sexual fetishism that has not been adequately addressed in Spanish fin-de-siècle culture

I For an object to become a commodity it has to be widely circulated and its processes of production mystified. When illustrated magazines were ushered in by the age of mechanical reproduction of images, the mode of graphic reproduction and the circulation of images took on the characteristics of every other luxury good that had to be produced on a mass scale in order for a market to expand and produce a profit. Larger and more durable presses had to be built and a cheap labor to run them identified. Chemical processes for etching copper plates (intaglio methods) had to be perfected to allow for larger runs of reproductions that were more faithful to the original. Cheaper sources of wood pulp had to be located, and paper mills constructed. Small artisan shops producing limited runs of hand-etched engravings and woodblocks of the highest quality were eventually replaced by factory-sized shops with large-scale machines, many imported from Germany, capable of mechanical reproduction on ever cheaper paper made possible by new chemical techniques (for example, half-tone screening techniques that made photoengraving more suited to mass production).

The result were larger and more lavish magazine formats in which new and old production techniques battled it out (Prensa ilustrada 75). By 1888, the heyday of the illustrated magazines, there were 46 weeklies published in Madrid alone (Prensa y sociedad 35), the more established of which vied with each other for the most spectacular and largest quantity of engravings. One of the most expensive Barcelona magazines, Ilustración Artística, published between twelve and fifteen images per issue, many of them full page or double page images. From the prices of the larger format illustrateds it is evident that in general the industry catered to higher-end urbanites who could afford not only to purchase the weeklies, but to have them bound for permanent storage in the bourgeois trophy room. The libraries of the wealthy, in addition to the peep-show cabinets filled with bric-a-brac, family memorabilia, rare objects, and stuffed animals --the result of the mania for collecting which has now entered into discussions of nineteenth-century fetishism--included shelves of magazines lovingly collected and bound in leather at the end of each year such as those in Figure 1. Less well-to-do consumers could consult these same volumes in their local ateneos where bound volumes of illustrated magazines stretched from floor to ceiling such as in Figure 2, a sketch of the Ateneo of Barcelona. Eventually middle-class consumers, lured by the availability of the more modest illustrated magazines like Blanco y Negro, could also indulge in the collecting fantasy: by 1900 the illustrated magazine had become a part of every-day city life in Spanish cities.
Everywhere in Europe during this period there was a rush to produce the best and cheapest magazines, but in places like Spain where technology lagged behind demand, some of the raw materials and technologies had to be imported from abroad, an exercise in acquisition that mystified even more the processes of production. Publishers soon discovered that to increase the market for illustrated magazines, more, and more sensational, images had to be sought, and Spanish artisans simply could not produce quality engraving plates in sufficient numbers to satisfy the demand. Several publishing houses in Barcelona, like the one that produced the above-mentioned Ilustración Artística, and its rival Ilustración Ibérica, resorted to importing additional block engravings, many executed in Germany, France, England and Austria after paintings by foreign artists. Over the century Spanish publishing houses bought thousands of these engravings, reselling some of them for publication in rival magazines where they were given different titles and instructions from magazine editors (in the "Nuestros grabados" [Our engravings] section of the magazine) on how best to "read" the images.
Occupying an entire page, often featured on the cover (see Figure 3) or on right-hand side pages, or even in centerfolds, these voluptuous engravings became the favored market lures for selling the magazine as an art object worth collecting. They also invited the rapacious looks of consumers both through their content and their technical refinement, helping to transform the magazine into a permanent fixture of a consumer society eager to Europeanizse its tastes. Not all of the images produced remained hidden in the pages of the bound magazine. Some publishers made it more inviting to extract the most sensational images from the pages of the magazine by omitting page numbers from their centerfold spreads, calling the insert a "regalo para nuestros lectores," [a gift for our readers]. This resulted in an even wider circulation since the object could have found its way into many hands, and even onto the walls of middle-class homes such as that of Don Lope in Galdós's Tristana whose museum of beautiful women was so dear to him.

II To understand the ardent collecting of these women images as a fetishized practice it is useful to review psychoanalytical, not just commodity fetishism. Even during Marx's lifetime, the sexual significance of the fetish was being debated by anthropologists who saw in the objects they acquired from Africa and other exotic locales emblems of male and female sexual organs, in other words, displaced phalluses, however crude. This eventually gave rise to the discourse of fetishism that entered the realm of emerging psychology. Potency and impotency were the dual sexual projections of the worshiper's sexuality which results, according to nineteenth-century anthropologists, in the symbolic castration or feminization of the fetishist. David Simpson in his work on fetishism in nineteenth-century culture notes similarly that the admonitions against trinkets, ornaments, figurative language and other practices of excess were an effort to align the fetishes of primitive and modern societies with gender problems: the idolater was infantile, feminine, and narcissistic, in a word, 'unmanly' (194 Mitchell).
Sigmund Freud, of course, is attributed with the classification of fetishism as the simultaneous disavowal and avowal of male castration. Freud, Alfred Binet, Krafft-Ebing and other early theorists of the castration complex, traced the aetiology of fetishism to fixations of early childhood, even to events prior to the age of five when the young boy becomes fixated with, and fearful about, what is lacking in female genitalia. In a word, for Freud the fetishist "is the male unresigned to the imagined amputation of the mother's phallus" (Mehlman 85). In normal development this fear is overcome, the mother's lack accepted, and identification with the father realized, while on the contrary the adult fetishist clings to the object, using it as a kind of crutch to ward off homosexuality. Marx's denunciation of monetary and commodity fetishism as reflecting the "impotence" of the bourgeoisie links commodity fetishism with the Freudian model. The difference between Marx and Freud is that for Freud it is not commodity fetishism that renders sexuality perverse, rather perverse sexuality that expresses itself in commodity fetishism (Mitchell 195).
A classical Freudian route would be to interpret some of these images as what Angela Moorjani calls "phallic goddesses," sexually complete figures that function as a disavowal of castration and mourning for an imaginary completeness, at the same time as they denote a dread and recognition of castration (See Figure 4). However, this discourse, familiar to us all, has recently been challenged by Marcia Ian and Ann McClintock. Ian sees the Freudian insistence on Oedipal constructions as itself fetishistic and patriarchal (61). In Imperial Leather McClintock wonders why Freud read the fetish object as a "substitute for the mother's (absent) penis, and not, say, as a substitute for the father's (absent) breasts" (190). In other words, she suggests, Freud fell prey to a logic that is itself fetishistic since it centers around sameness, or primal unity, "fixating on a single, privileged fetish object, the penis." In such a reading "women's difference is disavowed and misconstrued as lack" (190). In fact, shortly after Freud's famous paper on fetishism, psychologists were already suggesting the possibility that the fetish might represent female organs. Michael Balint in his "Contribution on Fetishism" claimed that the fetish could symbolize the vagina as well (Ian 88), and one could certainly pursue an argument for this in the abundant graphic portraits of hairy or furry models of Western women in the late 19th century press, such as those of Figures 5 and 6.

Whether female lack is the prevailing anxiety, or we read male anxiety over a lack of female organs into them, these images are clearly comforting in their plenitude. They are, to quote Ian's Remembering the Phallic Mother, "a kind of materialistic idealism" (54), that is, material signifiers for an idealized or primal version that subjects can enjoy "in private" so as not to have to be bothered with actual women (54), and as such they partake in the "entrenched cultural conflicts about the meanings of motherhood and female sexuality" (59). They may even be, as Ian suggests, a sort of denial of sexual difference: concealing the fear of difference and the desire for sameness: "That there is no distinction between the sexes may or may not be a 'primal fantasy'; who knows? It does appear, however, to be a fantasy inseparable from the hegemonic authority of patriarchy, which depends not only on compensating fantasmatically for what woman does not have, but also, and more important, on denying what woman does have" (91). McClintock argues that focusing on sexual aetiologies like this hampers our discussions of fetishism (192), obstructing our understanding of historical fetishes such as the Coca-Cola bottle, the swastika, or other group fetishes. Nevertheless, It is important to consider that in the case of magazine images: painted by men, etched, photographed and engraved by men, published by male magazine editors for an overwhelmingly male readership, we would be amiss if we didn't address their production as belonging to a male cultural system. These women-images are not examples of feminine fetishists, but products of a male imagination working overtime in a patriarchal order.
From a Freudian point of view the object of the fetish is to preserve something (the mother's phallus) from being lost that was never there to begin with, denoting a lack that the fetish both covers up and reveals, just by being there the object signals the boy's fear of castration. Similarly, the collector of magazine images owns the paper image whose referent does not exist, he can never really possess anything remotely resembling the exotic females that became prized collector's items. But through their seductive poses, these images offer a fleeting, surrogate possession of the image's referent, simultaneously parading the illusory mastery of the object (for example in their return of the desiring gaze), and envisioning it as an impossible phantasm. Thus the question of availability is very often posed in these images. Like the commodity, the exotic woman's sexual desirability is fetishized, made to appear a quality of the object itself, "spontaneous and inherent, independent of the social relation which creates it, uncontrolled by the force that requires it" (MacKinnon 26), and, as Catherine Mackinnon pointed out, "it helps if the object cooperates" (26), which many "exotics" like the one in figure 4 clearly did. Credulity and disbelief are both contained in the exaggerated portraits of "Orientalized" women. Magazine images, together with the ubiquitous collections of female oil portraits that decorated the private homes of the wealthy bourgeois and to a lesser degree middle class consumers, came to be fetishized as erotic commodities or collector's items within the fin-de-siècle Imaginary.

III Phallic substitutes are easily observable in some of the images and we could write them off as "an allegedly universal human tendency toward privileging phallic symbolism" (Pietz 1985, 6), but that alone would be insufficient to understanding their popularity. In order to enrich our understanding of exotic magazine images as fetishized objects in a psychological sense, two basic questions need to be addressed. First, since the notion of psychological fetishism evolved to understand idiosyncratic, individual traumas, is it legitimate or helpful to interpret them as a psycho-sociological process occurring at the level of a national identity? In other words, can we argue that cultural practices are the effects of a collective psychic disorder, or "communal fetishism" (Krips 57), and we should open up the study of fetishes to "more theoretically subtle and historically fruitful accounts" (McClintock 202)? Second, what is being avowed and disavowed in the circulation of thousands of images, often in very similar poses, of "Oriental" or North-African women, Gypsies, Circassians? Answering the first question affirmatively yields more useful answers to the second. In agreement with McClintock, I argue that the fetishized magazine image is a social, and necessarily interpersonal and intercultural object. As she points out, some fetishes "defy reduction to a single originary trauma or the psychopathology of the individual subject" (202) and recognizing this implies opening up the study of fetishism to incorporate "the vexed relations between imperialism and domesticity, desire and commodity fetishism, psychoanalysis and social history" (203).
According to William Pietz, beyond its status as a collective object, the fetish "evokes an intensely personal response" ("The Problem" 1985, 12). Turning this around, we could say that beyond the intensely personal response that we associate with fetish objects, the magazine image is perverse as a collective object, and therefore it is worthwhile to link its psychic and cultural dimension through a discussion of the collective gaze. As Krips argues, notions of collective psychic profiles as developed by Adorno and Durkheim have been discredited by some postmodernists (5), making it risky to make any sweeping statements about a mass perversion whose symptomology is the magazine image. But it is not simply its status as the evocation of a personalized experience that explains the magazine image's popularity, but its status as an object that both avows a connection between Western and non-Western women and at the same time disavows that connection as phantasmatic. If these images touched many bourgeois men in an intensely personal way it was not only for what they offered in terms of comforting psycho-sexual plenitude or disquieting lack at the primal level, but for what they represented in terms of a national loss and lack. They can be understood, in other words, as a site of collective anxiety.

This is not to deny that the gaze is a private psychic enterprise, only to suggest that we expand its possibility to encompass questions about the mode of production of images and their social relevance. Orientalist feminine portraits produced a complex, and possibly uncomfortable viewing position for the Spanish bourgeois consumer (Figure 7). Because the majority of these engravings or at least the originals from which they were made, were produced by foreigners, readers had constantly to confront a number of questions, such as, Is this an authentic representation, or the product of pure imagination? This is why editors of magazines usually offered readers information about the artist's skills and training and especially the truth value of a work's content, with comments such as "he captures the true essence of the Orient," "he has been faithful to the images of the real Oriental subjects" or, conversely, "he gives free flight to his imagination in a most delightful way." The response to the images is thus overly mediated by an otherness several times removed from daily experience, producing an anxious pleasure in the viewer. The first mediation occurs at the hand of the artist who chose the subject: Did he use models? Did he in fact travel to the Orient to sketch his figures? Are the poses and costumes fictions of his imagination? At the same time these images were mediated by the society in which the artists worked: Do Germans have a more reliable handle on authentic life in Bulgaria, Turkey, Egypt, etc? Are their cultural productions inflected by a romantic nostalgia, colonialist aspirations? The next mediation was on the part of the magazine editors, for example editors Montaner and Simón of Ilustración Artística who imported many of the plates they reproduced from Northern Europe: Are their choices the product of individual interests and tastes or simply market forces? Are they responding to the interests of their readers and, if so, how did they gauge that interest? What part does the availability of plates in certain countries and not others play in the selection of images? Have the engravers been faithful to the original? What has been lost in the translation from color to black and white engraving? All of these mediations complicate the question of viewing distance, making the task of settling on a viewing position more contingent. Of course, not all of these questions surfaced at the conscious level of the viewer. As I argued above, magazine images became part of the warp of the everyday and their mediations were most often obscured. Many readers probably imagined them as natural, even photographic depictions of everyday life somewhere else. But it is clear from the editorial comments that a viewing anxiety about "authenticity" and mediated effects in general played an important role in reception. Even the editors' comments would be a source of mystery to some. Signing with a B. or a P., their credentials for judging such mediations were undecipherable: Are B and P French? (the magazine had close ties with a French publishing house) Catalán? (it was produced in Barcelona).
Henry Krips points out that in the 20th century the fetishistic scopic regime is not always conservative, that it can undermine the ideological forms of dominant society, revealing the material processes of modernization. Similarly, Emily Apter argues that fetishized portraits potentially reverse the objectifying gaze and thus challenge the erotic conditions of mastery (Feminizing the Fetish 44) since it can be argued that the fetishist-collector becomes possessed by his morbid passion for collecting. Apter is also developing a way to read the masquerade of femininity apparent in these images of over-adorned women that focuses on feminine desire rather than lack. Although it is possible to argue that a scopic regime can challenge dominant ideological forms, or that it might be useful to "wean gender theory from its fixation on feminine lack" ( Apter, Feminizing the Fetish 98), I find it impossible to read these images in a celebratory fashion either as subverting or as legitimating some kind of sexual mode of feminine being. My resistance is particularly strong with regard to nineteenth-century exotic magazine images. The visual fixation on beautiful portraits of women of different nationalities revels in the display of inaccessible women, inviting eccentric desires that point to an impossibility that has both psychological and geopolitical meanings. In other words, we need to locate their meaning both "inside" "outside" the subject-consumers. These specimens of rare beauty and plenitude may ward off castration anxiety through their phallicity, but at the same time as they entice, they deny their accessibility to the viewer. They reveal themselves "as more an inability to tolerate the necessary incompleteness of experience than a reduction of experience to a mere part" (Ian 84).

The very ubiquitousness of exotic portraits means that the Spanish collector at some level acknowledged that he was fixated on bits of paper and canvas, part of the club of nineteenth-century European collectors of objets d'art. But this fixation on exotic portraits additionally suggests an envy for an "Oriental" collector of women who could possess the "real thing." This is obvious, for example, in figure 8, signed by artist Barbazán, which La Ilustración Artística published in 1895 (14.695, 22 April), and Lily Litvak reproduced in her 1985 study of Spanish exoticism El jardín de Alah. Barbazán's cartoon reminds readers not just of the difference between "Oriente" and "Occidente" as the title suggests, but the prizes that make the dream of the Orient so enticing. Throughout this period, envy of Northern European colonial expansionism is rampant in the Spanish press at a time when Spain could no longer finance extramural excursions except on a limited basis, prompting calls for national regeneration and rebirth long before the 1898 disaster. For example, we can cite O'Donnell's "misión africana" [African mission] in 1860, carried out at a great price as we know from the 70,000 lives lost, but which many patriots felt was worth the sacrifice. After conquering Tetuán General O'Donnell claimed that he had managed to "levantar a España de su postración" (Carr 257-8) [to raise Spain from its prostration]. Two years before the publication of Barbazán's "Occidente and Oriente" Spain intervened again in Morocco, in the Guerra de Melilla that ended in 1894 with the treaty of Marakesh. The late nineteenth century marks a series of mostly failed attempts on the part of Spain to hold onto its vestiges of its colonial holdings in Northern Africa, and of a growing presence in the press of Oriental themes.
Compared to the fetishized feminine portraits of over-dressed, over-laced, over-corseted European women, that seem to demonstrate the excess, frivolity, and performativity of the feminine masquerade, Orientalist genre portraits offered a slightly different kind of fantastic plenitude, and thus reveal a different kind of lack inherent in other bodies with which she is in dialog. Through its more revealing clothes, transparent veils, draped clothing, shoulder baring, and loosely fitting tunics, the exotic female body comes closer to revealing its terrible (feminine) secrets, but also the lack that Spain, a former world empire, was still mourning (Figure 9). It may also stand as a reference to a past racial diversity that needed to be repressed in order for Spain to continue to constitute itself as a homogeneous nation-state, but that surfaces repeatedly in various cultural forms as a reminder of its own repressed origins. If it is the case that the feminine masquerade functions naturally to veil female lack, then when the veils are drawn or partially drawn, that lack becomes all the more threatening because more explicit. At the same time, there is an irrationality about the obsession with exotic images, a clinging to them that delays a pursuit of the real object of desire. They are the safe distance from which a satisfaction and wholeness is entertained. They produce pleasure, but stall any real satisfaction (Krip 32); they are like a compensation for Spain's political stagnation and military defeat.

IV This leads to the discussion of what some cultural critics have called racial fetishism. In the years when the circulation of the illustrated magazines peaked, images of women draped in coins, those mystical icons of capital, were particularly fashionable (See Figure 10). Marx regarded money not as an imaginary symbol of exchange value but as the embodiment of value. It had become a fetish, the object itself that was adored, a means that had become an end, "the instrumentalized power of command over concrete humans in the form of control over their labor activity through investment decisions" (Pietz, 1993, 147). What makes money mysterious, like the commodity, is that men have forgotten that it is only a symbol, a projection, entering into the definite social relations between men. It thus became a commodity that circulated among men not unlike the images of beautiful, exotic women. What happens when women and coins and other precious objects are projected together is that the sexual commodification of the exotic woman is inextricably linked to the circulating object that had become the supreme embodiment of value: women displaying coins, in turn displayed as part of the ethnographic museum with which nineteenth-century cultural anthropologists and genre artists bought their way into the public consciousness.

From the 1870s to the 90s, Spanish magazines published thousands of images of women adorned with coins, sometimes literally weighted down with them as in figure 11. They glow with the image of roundness, of that desirable there and not-thereness; together with the breast and hair that they adorn, they fall into the zone of the fetish where race, class and gender overlap. Yet they are not in any simple way a psychological or phallic fetish, since race and ethnicity play such a formative role in their popularity (Figure 12). They enact not just psychological ambiguity but historical and material ambiguity as well. For example, it was during this period that Spain abandoned the gold standard, and considerable anxiety followed the establishment of a fiduciary monetary system with paper money, silver, notes, and bank deposits replacing gold coinage that was abandoned altogether in 1873. In 1883, around the time these images proliferated, when the rest of Europe was converting to the gold standard, the gold convertibility of Spanish notes was suspended. Where had all the gold gone that disappeared from the market during the last decades of the century? To judge by magazine images, it fell into the hands of market speculators, crass moneylenders, dark thieves of various ethnicities, but mostly it assumed the guise of an ornament worn by exotics from countries whose emerging economies had no fixed monetary system, such as Albania and Bulgaria (Figures 13, 14). It is not just anyone who wears coins draped about their bodies, it is women whose wealth has to be worn to be in evidence: women of a lower socio-economic group, or kept women of various kinds like those in figures 13-14, and women who are ethnically or racially "different": Egyptian, Moroccan, Turkish, Bulgarian, Circassian women (Figures 15-16). Like all fetishes the coins are contradictory, ambiguous: they are a form of wealth, but theirs is not a wealth that counts as such inWestern societies that were beginning to display their wealth in other ways. They serve to highlight beautiful, soft flesh, but they are a hard metal substance, they purport to give value to the owner, but they are really only "owned" by the possessors of the image, they are a sign of possession, at the same time that they also "possess" consumers, revealing their hidden desires and anxieties.
Gypsies and Bedouins especially were depicted in magazine images as quintessential outsiders who carry their possessions on their bodies (Figures 17, 18). They steal them, tell fortunes and dance in exchange for them, hide them in skirts, flash them on belts, hair, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, vests, carry them as charms and amulets: they seem to be in love with coins. By extension, luck comes to the Payo who crosses the palm of a Gypsy with a coin. Thus coins help to distinguish between primitive and bourgeois value systems: for the Gypsy receiving the coin was evidence of an obsession with coinage; for the giver parting with coins not only produced good fortune, it was symbolic of a relinquishing of coinage to an economic subculture, marking the be-coined women as belonging to some "prior moment in the history of progress" (McClintock 188). Coins figure these women as having a conspicuously primitive relation to wealth that differentiates theirs from the forms of wealth that are acquired in advanced capitalist societies.

On the other hand, besides pointing to the primitiveness of the exotic subject's exchange system we can also read the coined body as a symbol of plenitude. The woman draped in coins has it all: coins validate her wealth and enhance her beauty. The presence of coins invariably accompanying physically beautiful bodies suggests a link between wealth and beauty, or the value of beauty, not just to the woman who possesses both, but to the male gazer who measures the value of the woman's body in terms of its display. As someone who has it all, she is also a lesson for those who do not. For example, the editor of El Mundo Ilustrado in 1879 offered a contrastive interpretation of figure 19 , a woman from the Líbano mountain region of northern Syria. He begins by emphasizing the Syrian's primitiveness: she participates in the traditional life of the humble agricultural group to which she belongs: a people who raise cotton, indigo, sugar cane, tobacco, wine, olives dates etc, but are lacking in industry. The woman is agile and robust, "lo cual hace pensar en la gracia sencilla y encantadora de la gacela y en la fuerza y destreza del tigre." (Mundo Ilustrado 21 1879, p. 670) [reminding us of the simple and enchanting grace of the gazelle combined with the strength and dexterity of the tiger]; like her nomad kin she possesses the primitive charms of Old Testament women: "maravillosas, grandes, capaces de afecciones generosas y apasionadas" (670) [marvelous, grand women capable of generous and impassioned affections]. The commentator continues by insinuating Spain's dashed colonialist aspirations (noting that Italian and French are the linguae francae of the district where the woman lives) and concludes by pointing out the Syrian's advantage over bourgeois women: "El traje que usan crontribuye a realzar su belleza y su gracia natural, pues no está desfigurado su cuerpo con una falda demasiada larga y holgada, ni llevan encarcelado el pecho con cintajos y presillas" (670) [the dress these women wear helps to emphasize their beauty and natural grace, without disfiguring their bodies with a skirt that is too long and bulky, nor do they imprison their breasts in knots of ribbons and bands].
From this it is clear that the symbolic exchange implicit in graphic images occurs not just between colonizers or would-be colonizers and the "exotic" women depicted in paintings, engravings, cartoons, photos and written descriptions. Included in the equation, if only indirectly, is the Spanish woman who haunts the enthusiastic portrayal of the exotic other woman, as a either a negative or positive complementarity. Her role is to take a lesson from or give one to the other woman. Although Edward Said perceptively describes the Orient as the female to a male Europe, he is only secondarily concerned with the implications of this fact for gender relations within Western cultures because his goal is to study the import of geopolitical expansionism on other cultures more than the sexual colonization that can occur within a given culture as a result of its obsession with the exotic. His insight that Europe managed to collapse so many cultures into its Orientalist discourse in order to envision its world hegemony should lead to a parallel discussion of the way that Europe (including Spain) collapsed the female half of the world's population -both Western and non-Western- into unequal but equally reductionist texts. When we apply his statement that Orientalism responds more to the culture that produced it than to its apparent object, we could also conclude that sexual Orientalism in popular culture is part of a larger discourse that joined Spanish bourgeois women and exotic other women in a complex relation of similarity and difference. The excessive valuation of exotic women adorned in coins finds resonance in the condemnation of Spanish women's excessive interest in wealth. Spanish women, that is, the wrong kind of women, were often depicted in the Spanish press as obsessed with coins and material objects even if they didn't wear them, like the woman of Figure 20, flying off on the wings of the entire national economy. The helpful caption reads: "Nobleza, milicia, foro, diplomacia, todo se convierte en polvo de oro para ella, y lo disipa con su lujo escandaloso." [nobility, the military, government, diplomacy, she converts everything into gold dust which she dissipates with her scandalous luxury].

The connection between coins and women reinforces the primitive,"natural" relation between femininity and the material both in the case of the hearty Syrian woman and the bourgeois vixen absconding with the nation's wealth. While coins and jewels reinforce the notion that beauty is a woman's greatest wealth, they also suggest that beauty can be purchased with money, beauty and money are co-eval objects in the display of femininity. As stereotyped images they also enter into the realm of colonialist discourse in relation to fetishism. As Homi Bhabha has argued, all stereotypes are fetishes in the sense that they reveal a double play between the archaic affirmation of wholeness and similarity. The stereotype, the scene of fetishism, denotes the subject's desire for a "pure origin that is always threatened by its division" (75). The beautiful woman draped in coins functions as a sign of otherness, the coins and her dress make her racial difference more perceptible. At the same time, they facilitate an embrace of that difference, in their insistence on the manifest value of the woman's body, they enter into what Bhabha calls the "bind of knowledge and fantasy, power and pleasure, that informs the particular regime of visibility deployed in colonial discourse" (81) (Figure 21).


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The author would like to thank the following for their technical and editorial assistance in preparing this article: Eduardo Barros-Grela, María Bobadilla, Malcolm Read, and David Weiner.