This collection of essays explores the poetics and politics of US-American poetry’s diverse and distinct investments in the imaginary space of ‘the Orient’. Reading American poets – from Emily Dickinson to Frank Bidart, from Ralph Waldo Emerson to Kimiko Hahn – the contributions show how tropes of the Orient have fabricated screens onto which we project matters by no means foreign, but very close to home. As we accompany American poets on their journeys East, we are bound to arrive in – culturally specific – territories of the West. Traversing cultural crossroads and rediscovering places as ‘exotic’ as Banyan ashrams and Bostonian living rooms, these expeditions shed new light on crucial moments of American literary and cultural history. And, on the way, they reassess what Edward Said, thirty years ago, conceived of as Orientalism, and how far this concept has travelled in the meantime.
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2009. 359 pp., num. fig.
Contents: Christian Kloeckner/Sabine Sielke: From «Drops - of India» to «Floors / Descending»: Orient and Orientalisms
in US-American Poetry and Poetics. Introduction – Herwig Friedl: Emerson, Persian Poetry, and Sheikh Mosleho’d-Din Sa’di-ye
Shirazi: The Hermeneutics of Hospitality – Liam Corley: «The Veil I Would Not Tear Away’: Rapprochement and Retreat in Bayard
Taylor’s Poems of the Orient – Christa Buschendorf: Melville’s Clarel - Irreconcilable Contradictions, or: A
Pilgrimage to Piranesi’s Carceri – Ranen Omer-Sherman: «The Orient Sun Gleams from the Eye»: Emma Lazarus’s Lyrics
and the Tropes of Orientalism – Zhaoming Qian: Against Anti-Confucianism: Ezra Pound’s Encounter/Collision with a Chinese
Modernist – R. John Williams: Modernist Scandals: Ezra Pound’s Translations of ‘the’ Chinese Poem – Simone Knewitz: Poetics
of an Enclosed Garden: The Orient in Amy Lowell’s Pictures of the Floating World – Devin Zuber: «Poking Around in the
Dust of Asia»: Wallace Stevens, Modernism, and the Aesthetics of the East – Frank Kearful: Robert Lowell and New England Orientalism:
China Trade Rubble, an Open Porthole, and Irregular Japanese Touches – Anna Hartnell: Re-Drawing the East/West Boundary: Orientalizing
Jewish Identity in Allen Ginsberg’s «Kaddish» – David Caplan: Forms of Exile: The Example of the Ghazal – Hannes Bergthaller:
Orientalism and Millennarian Dialectics in Walt Whitman’s «Passage to India» and Gary Snyder’s Earth House Hold – Kornelia
Freitag: «Holding the Pencil Like One Lonely Chopstick», or: Re-Writing the Gaze – Roger Sedarat: Veiling Hyphenated Identities:
Iranian-American Poets’ Appropriation of Orientalism – Mihaela Moscaliuc: «Unbecoming, a desperate homesickness / even at
home»: Kimiko Hahn and the Poetics of Exhumation.