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A Mosaic of Misunderstanding: Occident, Orient, and Facets of Mutual Misconstrual


Julia Szołtysek

The book investigates relations between the ‘East’ and ‘West’ which have been forming and evolving from the Enlightenment until the present times. On the basis of material covering a selection of American, British and Turkish literature, as well as examples of Western Orientalist painting and musical (operatic) illustrations of analysed issues, the study aims to usher in a deeper and more nuanced understanding of post/colonial phenomena and their broader socio-cultural implications. The work attempts to accentuate the resonances and dissonances between various arts and disciplines, with the view to illuminating the organic nature of both inter- and intra-cultural relationships. The rationale behind such an orientation in research and methodology has not been to arrive at a final eclectic perspective, but rather, to promote a more comprehensive and diverse approach towards the ‘Other’.

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Bibliographical Note


This study is the outcome of intense research conducted between the years 2009 and 2014. Some parts were originally presented at several international conferences which provided apt occasions for the subsequent revising, deepening and development of the ideas that have finally found their way into the present project.

Fragments of Chapter One were presented in various forms and under different titles at five conferences held between 2012 and 2014: in September 2012 at the 11th Conference of the European Society for the Study of English (ESSE) organized at the Boğaziçi University, in Istanbul, Turkey, and Grievings International Conference organized by the University of Silesia, Poland, in Ustroń; in November 2012 at the Reading Readers International Conference of the Hacettepe University in Ankara, Turkey; in October 2013 at the Third International BAKEA Symposium of Western Cultures and Literatures held at the Gaziantep University in Gaziantep, Turkey; and in May 2014 at the International Conference Representing, (De)Constructing and Translating Borderlands co-organized in Krasnogruda, Poland, by the University of Białystok, Poland, Warsaw University, and the Borderlands Foundation. The result of these various presentations was the essay “They call this ‘organic shrapnel’: Violent Closeness Between ‘Victims’ and ‘Perpetrators’ in Don DeLillo’s Falling Man, and Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist,” published in the collection Culture and the Rites/Rights of Grief, edited by Zbigniew Białas et al. (Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013, pp. 108–123).

Excerpts of Chapters II and III likewise received public exposure...

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