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Rethinking Orient

In Search of Sources and Inspirations

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Edited By Adam Bednarczyk, Magdalena Kubarek and Maciej Szatkowski

The contributions in this book address a vast variety of questions concerning the sources and mutual inspirations in Oriental and European literatures. The authors discuss selected texts from both historical and synchronic perspectives. They reveal and scrutinise the sedimented layers in their search for the original as well as for the repetitive and universal. The book revolves around the creative reception of one’s own cultural heritage and of works which originated in other cultures.

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A Reading of Encounter & Comparison. From West to East and East to West (Nihan Abir)

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Nihan Abir

Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Turkey

A Reading of Encounter & Comparison. From West to East and East to West

Abstract: Throughout the centuries, the cultures of East and West strove for the supremacy and dominance against each other via wars, systematic information gathering and perception management. At first, Western civilization began to accumulate knowledge related to Eastern culture. However, these collected and “constructed” data may not always reflect the common truth. In this declaration, I try to analyze two texts that are similar to each other and that resemblance makes more appealing this paper. Turkey Embassy Letters (The Complete Letters of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu I-II-III) written by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu is one of the first samples that shows dominant glance of the West against Eastern cultures. These letters that include an orientalist view have the impressions of an English woman who defines herself over an “Other”.

Key words: Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Occidentalism, Orientalism, Yirmisekiz Çelebi Mehmet

A Brief Introduction to Orientalism and Occidentalism

Although their borders cannot be clearly identified, the two cultures described as Eastern and Western Cultures resorted, throughout the centuries, to such ways like war and systematic data collection in order to establish superiority and sovereignty over each other. Out of those two civilizations, which contain different beliefs and understandings at their bases, the method developed by the Western Civilization has been data collection and systematizing...

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