Cover image for Essay on exoticism : an aesthetics of diversity
Title:
Essay on exoticism : an aesthetics of diversity
Author:
Segalen, Victor, 1878-1919.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Essai sur l'exotisme. English
Publication Information:
Durham, NC : Duke University Press, 2002.
Physical Description:
xx, 95 pages ; 21 cm.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780822328100

9780822328223
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library BH39 .S4413 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

The "Other"--source of fear and fascination; emblem of difference demonized and romanticized. Theories of alterity and cultural diversity abound in the contemporary academic landscape. Victor Segalen's early attempt to theorize the exotic is a crucial reference point for all discussions of alterity, diversity, and ethnicity.
Written over the course of fourteen years between 1904 and 1918, at the height of the age of imperialism, Essay on Exoticism encompasses Segalen's attempts to define "true Exoticism." This concept, he hoped, would not only replace nineteenth-century notions of exoticism that he considered tawdry and romantic, but also redirect his contemporaries' propensity to reduce the exotic to the "colonial." His critique envisions a mechanism that appreciates cultural difference--which it posits as an aesthetic and ontological value--rather than assimilating it: "Exoticism's power is nothing other than the ability to conceive otherwise," he writes.
Segalen's pioneering work on otherness anticipates and informs much of the current postcolonial critique of colonial discourse. As such Essay on Exoticism is essential reading for both cultural theorists or those with an interest in the politics of difference and diversity.


Author Notes

Victor Segalen (1878-1919) was a French poet, novelist, archaeologist, and cultural analyst. Ya#65533;l Rachel Schlick is Adjunct Professor of English at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.


Table of Contents

Foreword: The Exotics of Nowhere
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Chronology: Victor Segalen (1878-1919)
Essay on Exoticism
Notes
Other Works by Victor Segalen Available in English
Selected Critical Works on Victor Segalen in English
Index

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