Literary Orientalism: Main Contours Up to the British Romantic Period


Literary Orientalism assumed the status of a new, fascinating subfield of English literary studies in 1980s, after the publication of Edward Said’s influential work, Orientalism (1978). However, earlier critical studies too, pointed to the varied perception of the other, including the Orient/ Orientals in English literary works down the millennia. The paper under study traces out the genesis of this tradition from 12

[1] Daniel, Norman, Islam and the West: Making of An Image. Edinburgh, 1991, p.22

[2] Dimmock, Mathew, Mythologies of Prophet Muhammad in Early Modern English Culture. Cambridge, 2013.

[3] Chejne, Anwar, “The Role of Al-Andalus in the Movement of Ideas between Islam and the West”, in Islam and the Medieval West. Ed. Khalil L. Semaan. Albany, NT, 1980, pp. 114-115.

[4] Lulua, Abdul Wahid, “Andalusian and English Lyrical Poetry: Probable Influence through the Troubadours” in English and Islam: Creative Encounters 96. Ed. Jalal Uddin Khan and Adraian E. Hare. Kuala Lumpur, 1998, p.4.

[5] Ibid., p. 12

[6] Daniel, Norman, Heroes and Saracens: A Reinterpretation of the Chanson de Geste. Edinburgh, 1984, p.4.

[7] Mettitzki, Dorothee, The Matter of Araby in Medieval England. New Haven, CT, 1977 p. 160.

[8] Oueijan, Naji. B, The Progress of An Image: The East in English Literature. New York, 1996, p. 15

[9] Sir Thomas Browne’s Psuedodxia Epidemica. Ed. Robbin Robbins. Oxford, 1, 3.

[10] For the analysis of Oriental Tales see - Maratha, P. Conant, The Oriental Tale in England in the Eighteenth Century. New York, 1908. - Ballaster, Ros, Fables of the East: Selected Tales. Oxford, 2005.

[11] Butler, Marliyn, “Byron and the Empire in the East”, in Andrew Rutherford (Ed.), Byron: Augustan and Romantic. London, 1990, p. 68

[12] Ibid., p.71