THE MUSLIM WHO WASN?T THERE: ORIENTALISMS IN COLLINS? THE MOONSTONE, HESSE?S SIDDHARTHA, AND TAGORE?S THE HOME AND THE WORLD

Abstract

Author(s): Beyaz?t AKMAN

In this article I look at three distinct novels to be able to see different types of Orientalisms and how they function in a complex network of seemingly unconnected cultures and works: one British text, Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone; one German, Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha; and finally one Bengali example, Tagore’s The Home and the World. I choose these texts as sampling three different cultural contexts: the heydays of the Victorian novel, the context of German Orientalist scholarship, and one “insider” from the South Asian continent. I interpret Collins’s text, as a novel of Orientalism proper; Hesse’s text of spiritual quest as situated in the backdrop of German Orientalist scholarship; and Tagore’s text as an indicator of an intellectual culture that is highly influenced by Western values and historiography, thus coming close to the colonizer’s gaze.

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