The First Triangulation: Desire, Mimicry, Revolt
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When we talk about ‘the West doing this’ or ‘the Orient desiring that’, we are only referring to imaginary subjects, who, as such, cannot do or desire anything. The West and the East, just like other overgeneralised grand subjects such as ‘the nation’, ‘the bourgeoisie’ or ‘men’, are not actual historical agents: first, they are split within themselves, they consist of many conflicting and interacting subjects; and second, they are not always the same entity throughout their respective histories. Therefore, we always have to specify what part or what time, when we are referring to them as subjects or agencies. Furthermore, it is not sufficient to specify only geographically (Egypt or India, China or Turkey) or temporally, but also socially and culturally: which class or stratum (or sub-class or proto-class) is it we are talking about? When have these classes or strata been formed and in which historical processes and circumstances? Only then the statements we construct using ‘the Orient’ or ‘the West’ as subjects may have a semantic value; otherwise they remain simple ideological utterances serving specific purposes in a broader politico-cultural agenda, most of the time we may not even be aware of.
KeywordsBody Image Hegemonic Masculinity Protestant Work Ethic Leisure Class Actual Father
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- 2.A good example of this sub-genre would be George Orwell’s Burmese Days (1934, Orwell 1974), who, as Eric Arthur Blair, was a colonial police officer in Burma in 1922–1927 and recorded his experiences there (in his usual semi-fictional/semi-documentary style) in this book.Google Scholar