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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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Post-Scriptum: Of Promises and New Beginnings


It has been my intention to supply each chapter of the present study with a distinct and comprehensive conclusion restating the major investigated issues and summing up the outcomes their analyses have yielded. In order to avoid repetition, here I make an attempt at gathering together the findings arrived at in the course of the project’s development, with a view to presenting future directions towards which further research could lead, including also both the academic and non-academic significance of my work, as well as the possible applications of the results of my study.

The present volume has been conceived of as a work which follows some hitherto unpursued paths, extending beyond the standard frameworks of postcolonial and ethnic literature studies, and thus signalling tempting and innovative perspectives or approaches, as well as vantage points for further research. Significantly, though it has drawn on and emerged from a solid foundation of literary theories, post/colonial, ethnic, and racial discourses, and a broadly understood humanist basis, the study’s preoccupations may not, and should not, be limited to abstract theoretical exercises without any bearing on the immediate contemporary reality and perceptions of it, or our functioning within the systems it has generated. There can be little doubt that events such as the 9/11 attacks on New York City and the ensuing aggravation of ‘Eastern’/‘Western’ relations have made their mark as cornerstones of post-(post)modern realities; having found their reflection in a plethora of intellectual and creative responses, they...

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