Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"Stranger Orientalism": A Review on Bookslut

Craig Thompson's Habibi
Bookslut's Daisy Rockwell posted a review,"Stranger Orientalism" of two books: Craig Thompson's Habibi and Marina Warner's Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights.  The issues Rockwell discusses intrigue me; she looks at both writers'stated intentions, asks whether or not such stated intentions excuse the overall material, and harps about the overwhelming amount of "kitsch" or accouterments that keeps such Orientalist stereotyping alive. (Accouterments, orientalist stereotyping, hello belly dance.) All this in addition to a discussion of the more troubling and larger reality that our media has not revived but re-invented a new form of Orientalism to reinforce the stereotypes of "the mysterious other" and to justify warring motives. Amazing when a book review of a graphic novel and an academic study gets downright frightening. 

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