The Pre-Raphaelites and Orientalism: Language and Cognition in Remediations of the East

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The Pre-Raphaelites and Orientalism: Language and Cognition in Remediations of the East redefines the task of interpreting the East in the late nineteenth century. Weaving together literary, linguistic and cognitive analyses of Pre-Raphaelite paintings, illustrations and writings, socio-cultural investigations of the Orient, and rhetorical considerations about Arabian forms of writing, the terms of critical debate surrounding the East are redefined. It takes as a starting point Edward Said's Orientalism (1978) in order to investigate the latent and manifest traces of the East in Pre-Raphaelite literature and culture. As the book demonstrates, the Pre-Raphaelites and their associates appeared to be the most eligible representatives of a profoundly conservative manifestation of the Orient, of its mystic aura, criminal underworld, and feminine sensuality, or to put it into Arabic terms, of its aja'ib (marvels), mutalibun (treasure-hunters) and hur al-ayn (femmes fatales).