Hermeneutics of Orientalism


An attempt has been made in the following pages 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 W. Adorno, Raymond Williams and Michel Foucault, led to his anti-authoritarian outlooks.


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