Essay on Exoticism: An Aesthetics of Diversity
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.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Victor Segalen 18781919
An Aesthetics of Diversity
1 other sections not shown
Other editions - View all
Aesthetics of Diversity already Andrew Harvey beauty Boissiere Bovarysm called China Chinese cism Clouard conceive conception of exoticism contemporary cultural Debussy decline desire difference Edouard Glissant elsewhere ence entry Essai sur I'exotisme Essay on Exoticism essential Exoticism everything existence exotic Exoticism of Nature exoticist Felibre flavor French Edition Gauguin Gaultier's George Sand Hearn human ideas Immemoriaux January Joris-Karl Huysmans Jules de Gaultier Lafcadio Hearn literary Loti Maori Maurice de Guerin Max Prat Mercure de France mysterious native notion novel novelist object one's painting Paris Patrick Chamoiseau Paul Claudel Paul Gauguin Peintures perhaps Pierre Pierre Mille poet prose poems pseudonym published Quinton quotations races Rene Quinton Saint-Pol Saint-Pol Roux Segalen refers sensation of Exoticism sense short story Simon Leys space Steles Tahiti Tanizaki things thought TIENTSIN tion tourists translation tropics Victor Segalen vision word exoticism writing