Essay on Exoticism
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Essay on Exoticism

An Aesthetics of Diversity

Victor Segalen, Yael Rachel Schlick, Stanley Fish, Fredric Jameson

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Essay on Exoticism

An Aesthetics of Diversity

Victor Segalen, Yael Rachel Schlick, Stanley Fish, Fredric Jameson

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About This Book

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.

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Information

Year
2002
ISBN
9780822383727
Draft
of
the
Plan
112
The
birth
of
Diversity.
The
genesis
of
the
External
World.
The
feeling
of
Diversity.
The
flavor
of
Exoticism.
Exoticism
of
the
Sexes.
Of
the
Expression
of
Diversity.
By
means
of
different
senses
....
By
means
of
different
Arts.
—It
is
for
this
reason
that
Exoti-
cism
is
located
within
the
different
arts
themselves.
(Re-
member
the
law
I
proclaim
in
the
last
chapter,
that
one
cannot
taste
Diversity
unless
one
weds
oneself
to
a
par-
ticular
perspective.
Tasting
the
exoticism
of
different
arts
assumes
that
one
takes
a
different
side
each
time.)
The
author
and
his
Expression
of
Diversity.
Truly
Exotic
styles.
(Cf.
and
take
up
again:
the
irksome
author.)
Possibility
of
a
critical
attitude,
whose
pivot
point
would
be
a
pure,
exotic
attitude.
The
Decline
of
Exoticism.
Gobineau:
On
Inequality.
113

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