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interneta bibliotēka
Atlants.lv bibliotēka
The Greek Slave of American Orientalism
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Publicēts: 14.07.2004.
Valoda: Angļu
Līmenis: Vidusskolas
Literatūras saraksts: Nav
Atsauces: Nav
Darba fragmentsAizvērt

The historian Sacvan Bercovitch has observed that the United States is the example par excellence of a nation formed by collective fantasy ; such a theory finds great resonance in the nineteenth century, for the era witnessed the birth of American Orientalism. Indeed, as seen through literature and art, American Orientalism offered a titillating, rich imagination world into which Americans of the 1800's could escape. They could only dream of the brash, cunning, violent, and Romantic emotions and actions taken in art and ideas of the time, for Americans were inevitably bound by Victorian standards of conduct and morality. The ability of Hiram Powers' Greek Slave to invade the subconscious of the public and elicit such intense fantasies speaks to the depth of sexuality's sublimation in contemporary society; moreover, it reflects the force of strength of the perceived sociopolitical threat implied by "Orient" and its alleged widespread sexual lasciviousness and license. However, for those women who were able to escape the oppressiveness of Western civilization and travel to the Middle East, a whole new world was revealed to them, one that allowed them to observe and interact with diverse cultures in which women were granted significantly more liberty in all realms of life while still remaining the standard bearers for their nations. In a twist of fate, the 'Orient' turned out to be the gateway to freedom for women of the West, perhaps a point of irony in contemporary American society, as we seek to liberate its women from the repercussions of Occidentalism instilled by our presence a century ago. The dichotomies and challenges of the two worlds Edward Said described inevitably live on.…

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