‘Metzengerstein’ (1832), ‘The Visionary’ (1834), ‘Berenice’ (1835), the Imagination, and Authorship‘s Perils
The fusion of Gothic and Eastern details, which one encounters in these stories, is obviously not original to Poe. William Beckford‘s Vathek, Charlotte Dacres Zofloya, and Byrons Eastern tales contain similar blends, but in ‘Metzengerstein’, ‘The Visionary’, and ‘Berenice’ Oriental and Gothic devices, especially the former, serve unique purposes. With these motifs, Poe continues his investigation of authorship, a theme animating his Poems (1831), in which Oriental devices also appear,with surprising frequency. Published shortly before Poe wrote ‘Metzengerstein’ this volume showcases verse dealing with the craft of writing and the nature of inspiration, and in several poems from this collection, ‘East’ and ‘West’ operate as metaphorical shorthand, with ‘East representing poetic genius and ‘West’ suggesting unimaginativeness. Middle-Eastern devices serve related purposes in #8216;Metzengerstein’, ‘The Visionary’, and ‘Berenice’, stories sharing thematic correspondences with the poems that preceded them. In particular, these tales evince Poe‘s anxieties about authorship, its demands, and its pitfalls. Throughout the narratives, Oriental machinery constitutes a network of symbols, collapsing complex ideas into compact metaphors, and with these devices, Poe imaginatively investigates the life of writing in nineteenth-century America, where professional writers struggled to satisfy a mass audience while following their own aesthetic inclinations. Such experiences no doubt proved ‘Gothic’ for these authors working in a society transformed by industrialization, a space where commercial trends impinged on creativity and threatened artistic freedom. Gothic fiction offered a proper vehicle for Poe‘s own anguished response to the challenges he and others faced while negotiating their conflicting roles as artists and professionals. For Poe, preserving the sanctity of the imagination, figuratively associated with the Middle East, was paramount, and ‘Metzengerstein’, ‘The Visionary’, and ‘Berenice’, all of which employ Gothic and Oriental devices, dramatize artistic failure, the betrayal of genius resulting in imaginative decay or death.
I will read John Winthrop‘s Model of Christian Charity against and through Edgar Allan Poe‘s poem ‘The City in the Sea’. Winthrop and Poe both localize a ‘city’ to represent an extreme form of society. The koine Greek of Matthew 5 uses the word polis to describe a ‘city on a hill’. Christ says this city must not be hidden, but rather should shine so that the world may see it. The New Testament‘s merging of ‘politics’ and ‘city’ in the word polis makes it unsurprising that many Anglophone writers invoke ‘city’ in a title or phrase when making political innuendoes. Winthrop was a devotee of scripture, and Poe knew Greek, so their allusions to a representative human city are fraught with cultural meaning. To contextualize and compare their particular evocations of the city metaphor, I incorporate the theories of Edward Said and present cross-references to Eugène Delacroix, the prophecies of Ezekiel, and Shelley‘s poem ‘Ozymandias’. The Holy Land is at once fixed in the exotic Middle East yet necessary for America‘s quotidian social mores. Winthrop and Poe romanticize, appropriate, and exploit Middle Eastern symbolism. The interesting twist, however, is that Poe Orientalizes Winthrop‘s city on a hill, and in so doing, he Orientalizes Winthrop, and perhaps America‘s own religious fanaticism.
in Hamam (Onaran, 1997 ; Anderlini-D’Onofrio, 2007 ; Girelli, 2007 ), but this is not so much nostalgia for a place, since Özpetek still visits his native city on a regular basis, but for Istanbul at a particular moment in history when same-sex practices were an intrinsic part of the city’s life. I wish to demonstrate that, whereas the seductive Orientalism articulated in Özpetek’s cinematic narrative seems, on a superficial level, to align him with old-fashioned Orientalists who bolstered a picture of Turkey as a place of base hedonism, he does so in a way
Poe‘s Anti-Representational Invocations of the Near East
Poe‘s poetry and fiction are full of cultural and religious references to the Near East. This essay suggests that Poe‘s invocations of the Near East are part of a deliberately anti-representational strategy for dealing with cultural difference that constitutes part of Poe‘s understanding of one of his most central concepts, the ‘arabesque’. This anti-representational strategy is built on Poe‘s sympathetic reading of texts associated with the Near East, Islam, and Arab and Persian cultures.
Theorizing the Nineteenth-Century Gothic Pharmography
Carol Margaret Davison
Liberty, a term dear to the Enlightenments emancipatory project, has long been a key concept in the Gothic. No branch of the Gothic more powerfully or creatively examines the complexities of the liberty question than the Gothic pharmography – a narrative chronicling drug/alcohol seduction and addiction. Drawing on three novelistic sub-genres – the Oriental tale, the imperial Gothic, and the Urban Gothic – the Gothic pharmography coalesces several distinct nineteenth-century debates – the nature of the will and liberal individualism; social oppression and conformity; urban and national degeneration; and British imperialist expansion, which involved the perceived anxiety-inducing sense of Britains growing economic dependence on the non-Western world. This essay offers an overview of the Gothic pharmography from the late eighteenth century through to the fin de siècle in Marie Corelli‘s Wormwood.
In 1807, the Duchess of Bedford and several of her circle attended a performance of the opera The First Attempt at Dublin‘s Theatre Royal. Their hair was not coifed in the style of the day but rather swept up and fastened with golden bodkins in the ancient Irish manner. Soon this became all the rage in polite Irish society, and Dublin jewellers, struggling to compete, took out advertisements to accuse other firms of making less than authentic replicas. Indeed, the great demand in Dublin for these golden bodkins inflated the price of gold in Ireland. Drapers soon saw a business opportunity in this Celtic fashion renaissance and started producing the `Glorvina Mantle, a flowing scarlet cape, ideally secured with golden replicas of Celtic broaches. Eventually these ancient Gaelic styles made their way to London and became fashionable among ladies from the upper class. The popularity of this exotic dress resulted from a confluence of factors. While the growing interest in Irish antiquarianism, the European fascination with orientalism and the popularity of Gothic romance fed the fire, the spark that ignited the blaze was The Wild Irish Girl, a novel written by a young Irish governess. Not only does this fashion craze bear witness to the popularity of the text, but so do the sales figures. This popular novel, first published in 1806, went through seven editions in two years, and was even successful on the Continent, especially in Germany, where the young authors popularity almost eclipsed Scott‘s and Byron‘s and her sales figures surpassed those of her fellow Irish writers, Maria Edgeworth and Charles Maturin. In fact, the great Gothic writer Maturin openly borrowed from The Wild Irish Girl in his own work.
The military occupation of Egypt exposed the British government to charges of self-interest and the betrayal of Britain's liberal political principles. This book is a comprehensive portrait of the British colony in Egypt, which also takes a fresh look at the examples of colonial cultures memorably enshrined in Edward W. Said's classic Orientalism. It presents a study that takes Edward Said's theory of colonial culture as a first reference and follows his method of analysing various British cultural products that involved some sort of cultural exchange. British residence in Egypt was facilitated by commercial treaties, known as the 'Capitulations'. The idea of Britain's 'civilising mission' had become justification for the repression of Egypt's liberty. Arguing that Said's analysis offered only the dominant discourse in imperial and colonial narratives, the book uses private papers, letters, memoirs, as well as the official texts, histories and government reports, to reveal both dominant and muted discourses. While imperial sentiment set the standards and sealed the ruling caste culture image, the investigation of colonial sentiment reveals a diverse colony in temperament and lifestyles, often intimately rooted in the Egyptian setting. British high commissioner Sir Miles Lampson's interventions in Egyptian domestic politics marked a momentous turning point in imperial history by spurring extremist nationalism. The interwar time of uncertainty witnessed a see-sawing of the imperialistic and the liberal or internationalist impulses.
While most of the Germans who suffered expulsion during the First World War lived within British shores, the Royal Navy brought Germans from throughout the world to face incarceration in the their network of camp. This book offers a new interpretation of global migration from the early nineteenth until the early twentieth century. It examines the elite German migrants who progressed to India, especially missionaries, scholars and scientists, businessmen and travellers. The book investigates the reasons for the migration of Germans to India. An examination of the realities of German existence in India follows. It then examines the complex identities of the Germans in India in the century before the First World War. The role of the role of racism, orientalism and Christianity is discussed. The stereotypes that emerged from travelogues include: an admiration of Indian landscapes; contempt for Hinduism; criticism of the plight of women; and repulsion at cityscapes. The book moves to focus upon the transformation which took place as a result of this conflict, mirroring the plight of Germans in other parts of the world. The marginalisation which took place in 1920 closely mirrored the plight of the German communities throughout the British Empire. The unique aspect of the experience in India consisted of the birth of a national identity. Finally, the book places the experience of the Germans in India into four contexts: the global history of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; German history; history of the British Empire in India; and Indian history.
The book shows how people have come to approach the writing of imperial histories in the early twenty-first century. It explores the social and political contexts that informed the genesis and development of the Studies in Imperialism series, and the conceptual links it has sought to forge between empire and metropolitan culture. The book provides an insightful account of John MacKenzie's 'Orientalism': the problems of 'power' and 'agency'. The 'MacKenziean moment' needs to be read historically, as a product of the 'delayed arrival of decolonising sensibilities', where contemporary popular phenomena and new types of scholarship integrated Britain and its empire. Sexuality made early appearances in the Series through the publication of 'Empire and Sexuality'. MacKenzie's 'Empire of Nature', 'Imperialism and the Natural World', and 'Museums and Empire' convey the impact of his scholarship in the themes of exploration, environment and empire. The historical geographies of British colonialism have enjoyed a prominent place in the Series, and the book explores the ways in which different 'spatial imaginations' have been made possible. Discussions on colonial policing during the depression years, and on immigrant welfare during and after decolonisation, take their cue from MacKenzie's European Empires and the People. The later nineteenth century witnessed the interaction of many diasporas, which in turn produced new modes of communication. By dealing with the idea of the 'Third British Empire' and the role of the Indian press during and after the British Raj, the book repositions British imperial histories within a broader set of global transformations.
This novel is a designedly political document. Written at the time of the Hastings impeachment and set in the period of Hastings’s Orientalist government, Hartly House, Calcutta (1789) represents a dramatic delineation of the Anglo-Indian encounter. The novel constitutes a significant intervention in the contemporary debate concerning the nature of Hastings’s rule of India by demonstrating that it was characterised by an atmosphere of intellectual sympathy and racial tolerance. Within a few decades the Evangelical and Anglicising lobbies frequently condemned Brahmans as devious beneficiaries of a parasitic priestcraft, but Phebe Gibbes’s portrayal of Sophia’s Brahman and the religion he espouses represent a perception of India dignified by a sympathetic and tolerant attempt to dispel prejudice.