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Cross-Cultural Encounters between the Mediterranean and the English-Speaking Worlds


Edited By Christine Reynier

The Mediterranean world has long had strong cultural links to Great Britain as well as to the United States. Through the analysis of artistic objects and critical writings that crystallise this encounter, the essays in this volume demonstrate the variety and complexity of the connections between two geographical zones and two or more cultures.
Mediterranean cultures are shown to haunt American and British culture and artistic productions. The relation between British and American literature and art on the one hand, and Mediterranean arts on the other goes beyond the mere inscription of British and American culture in a Mediterranean tradition. British and American culture and art come out as unearthing a wide variety of Mediterranean artistic forms, renewing and transforming them.
This collection shows how lively the encounter between the Mediterranean and the English-Speaking worlds still is. It highlights how much English as well as American culture and art owe today to the Mediterranean ones; how, mainly in the fields of literature and art, the two civilisations have never discontinued the dialogue they adumbrated centuries ago.


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MARIE-CHRISTINE ROCHMANN - Louis-Xavier Eyma, Reader of George Catlin - 133


MARIE-CHRISTINE ROCHMANN Louis-Xavier Eyma, Reader of George Catlin The encounter between the Indian and the European on the American continent actualized for each of them the discovery of a radical otherness in the opposition between capitalism in its period of formation followed by one of expansion, as well as the pre-modern mode of living of the Amerindians. With the specificity, as was pointed out by Robert Sayre in his excellent book, La Modernité et son autre, that the capitalistic econ- omy was in this case developing at the very meeting place between colo- nist and colonized, while elsewhere it was exported from the home coun- try into the colonies. The consequences of this encounter, and particu- larly after American independence, are well known: a continuous push- ing back of the tribes ever westward and the extinction of the large part of the Amerindian population in spite of the setting up of reservations. Confronting this question, in the midst of various justifications and pro- tests, two books, one French, the other American, embody two opposite reactions: Les Peaux Rouges by Louis-Xavier Eyma, published in 1854, and Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs and Condition of the North American Indians, Written During Eight Years’ Travel (1832- 1839) Amongst the Wildest Tribes of Indians in North America, 1841, by the American, George Catlin, the ensuing paradox being that Xavier Eyma’s book draws most of its inspiration from Catlin’s. In this other encounter between a European and an American it is the manifestations...

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