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Elements of Orientalism in the Writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Thoreau and Walt Whitman

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Hafiz Mohd Arif Nadvi

Dr. Hafiz Mohd Arif is Head, Department of Languages, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Integral University. He was born and brought up in Sitapur, UP India. Dr. Arif was primarily educated at Darul Uloom Nedwatul Ulema, Lucknow. He studied English Literature from University of Lucknow and was awarded the Doctoral Degree in English by Integral University, Lucknow in 2015. The subject of his research was “Orientalism in American Literature between the Revolution and the Civil War.” He was appointed as Lecturer in English at Islamic Institution, Darul – Uloom Nedwatul Ulema, Lucknow where he taught English and Arabic to foreign students. His area of specialization is in Islamic and Oriental Studies, American Literature and Communication theories.

Description

An attempt has been made in the following pages to study and explore “Orientalism in American Literature Between the American Revolution and the Civil War.” American Orientalism is a lesser known and critically unexplored aspect of American literary studies simply because it has been overshadowed by the so-called British Orientalism, coming into broader and critically prominent focus because of Edward Said who emerged as one of the seminal literary critics and theorists of the last quarter of the twentieth century.
The book starts with a discussion of the nature of Orientalism in Edgar Allan Poe’s works. The research engages to trace Edgar Allan Poe’s mastery of historic characterization with specific references to the description of those elements which have been engraved with the pageantry and magnificence of the Orient. The study finds that in the writings of Edgar Allan Poe, the Middle East figures as an aesthetic principle. It also addresses the role of historical Middle East in the fictions of Nathaniel Hawthorne. It purposes to persuade the reader of nineteenth – century American literature to acknowledge the profundity of the East, which had been hidden from the American readership.
It discusses Walt Whitman’s love for Oriental philosophy with special reference to his Passage to India.
The book also sheds light on Henry David Thoreau’s description of aesthetical and spiritual writings.

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