The Orient on American soil

  • H.M.Arif Nadvi Assistant professor , Department of languages. Integral University, Lucknow
Keywords: Ante-bellum ,Orientalism , Appropriation , Transcendentalists, exotic, Enlightenment, Arabesque, self- reliance, occident.


This is an attempt to study and explore Orientalism in American Literature Between the American Revolution and the Civil War. American Orientalism is a lesser known and critically unexplored  aspect of American literary studies,  simply because it has been overshadowed by the so-called British Orientalism, coming into broader and critically prominent  focus because of Edward Said who emerged as one of the  seminal literary critics and theorists of the last quarter of  the twentieth century. It is rightly said that theory is dominated by foreign names: Michel Foucault, Althusser, Gramsci, Derrida, Edward Said, Lacan, Homi K. Bhabha, G. C.Spivak, etc.

The influence of Said’s acknowledged intellectual mentors, including Antonio Gramsci, Theodore Adorno, Raymond Williams and Michel Foucault, led to his anti-authoritarian outlooks. In fact, Orientalism (1978), Said’s most influential book, changed the direction of several disciplines by exposing an unholy alliance between the enlightenment and colonialism. It may, therefore, be considered as the most powerful revolution in the intellectual realm, impacting the fate of common man. Orientalism strengthens the mood of political correctness in academics, enabling thinkers and critics both from the Western and the non -Western countries to create narratives of oppression, interpreting and debating the representation of the non-Westerner Other.”


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