Avant-garde Orientalism: The Eastern 'Other' in by David LeHardy Sweet

By David LeHardy Sweet

This research explores the paintings of Western avant-garde writers who traveled to and wrote approximately Asia and North Africa. even though exoticist in outlook, lots of those writers have been additionally anti-colonialist and hence shunned many of the pitfalls of educational orientalism by means of assuming an aesthetics of range whereas utilising concepts of provocation and reciprocity. As a survey of works on trip (including essays, novels, poems, and plays), the booklet demanding situations or modifies many postcolonial assumptions approximately Western writers at the Orient: from the French Surrealists to the yankee Beats or even transnational authors of the hot millennium. via a synthesis of avant-garde, postcolonial, and commute literature theories, Avant-garde Orientalism works within the top culture of comparative literary research to spot and learn a different type of global literature.

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Extra resources for Avant-garde Orientalism: The Eastern 'Other' in Twentieth-Century Travel Narrative and Poetry

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The study, then, tackles the problem of avant-garde orientalism by surveying a broad range of texts by writers affiliated or in dialogue with avant-­ garde praxis and who attempt, through varying genres and techniques, to portray a miscellany of cultures in what traditional orientalists considered a state of decay or dysfunction but which was often actually emergent after an incubation period of resistance, revolution, and nationalist revision. The study draws on writers of different national origins in keeping with the international make-up of avant-garde movements throughout the twentieth century and the first decade of the twenty-first century.

6. The Surrealists, Berlin Dada, and the Situationists, perhaps more than other avant-garde movements, exemplified this attitude. As against an emergent, “structuralist” poetics that increasingly treated literary expression as a matter of language rather than of personal experience (Indian Journals, 39). 8. The assimilation of filth to language is an ironic development for avant-garde poets whose own symbolist forerunners were preoccupied with notions of purifying language, not only as a spiritual or platonic endeavor, but also in the sense of shedding language’s more referential associations.

Said notes how Western writers have long preferred an imaginary Orient, culled from literary study, to the disillusioning experience of the supposedly “real” Orient discovered through conquest and INTRODUCTION 25 colonization (Orientalism 100). It should be recognized that this literary fascination was accelerated with the help of Romanticism itself, its literary heroes seeing the Orient as a source and potential fulfillment of its imaginary aspirations, aspirations sometimes inadequately distinguished from the more worldly ones of imperial conquerors and administrators.

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