This paper is about the history of the European scholarly life as scripted reality. To this end, it explores a variety of patterns of discourse and genres of text concerning the nature and purpose of biography, personhood, and subjectivity in the world of scholarly learning, and more precisely, Oriental studies, in the closing decades of the 19th century. The paper draws on materials pertaining to the lives of Ignaz Goldziher (1850–1921), Theodor Nöldeke (1836–1930), and Enno Littmann (1875–1958). The argument aims to show (1) that the scholarly persona at the time was varied and disunified; (2) that some of the variations of scholarly personae were built on notions, and experiences, of transcending cultural boundaries; and (3) that the very condition of disunity, or dispersion, provided a specific mode of expressing the ineffability of subjectivity in this province of scholarship. In particular, the paper offers an account of the scholarly persona as a carrier of virtue and authority; of the scholarly persona as distinct from, and a spectator of, the great historical persona; and of the scholarly persona as marked by a plotline of cultural transgression and return into the co-operative of science. It concludes with a discussion of poetry as a means of seeking to express the scholarly subject.