Translating Difference: The Ambiguous Representation of the ‘Exotic’ in Wyndham Lewis’s Journey into Barbary: Travels across Morocco
Keywords:exoticism, ethnocentrism, imperialism, difference, representation, cross-cultural encounters
Difference is dealt with paradoxically in discourse: sometimes, it is admired and eulogized by the perceiver to the extent of fetishism; other times, however, it represents a mixture of both love and repulsion. The concept of representation does not stand for a homogeneous idea, but engenders a plethora of other concepts that lead to an inevitable crossing of various disciplines. In this regard, Journey into Barbary offers a rich territory for the study of crosscultural encounters and the representation of difference. The paper investigates the discursive ambiguity in Lewis’s representation of Morocco. The focus is on the fluctuation between a celebration of exoticism, and an assertion of ethnocentrism and superiority. The paper analyses Lewis’s travelogue considering recent theories in postcolonial criticism, attempting to unravel and demonstrate the author’s biased racial attitudes and ethnocentric tendencies in representing Moroccan people and culture, as well as his representation of other cultures – which I refer to as the translation of difference – as manifested in his description of Berbers.
Ashcroft, Bill, Helen Tiffin, and Gareth Griffiths. 2013. Post-Colonial Studies. The Key Concepts. 3rd ed. London: Routledge.
Derrida, Jacques. 1998. Of Grammatology. Translated by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
Dijk, Teun A. van. 2008. Discourse and Power. Baskingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Fairclough, Norman. 1992. Discourse and Social Change. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Gee, James Paul. 1996. Social Linguistics and Literacies: Ideology in Discourses. London: Taylor & Francis.
Lewis, Wyndham. 1983. Journey into Barbary: Travels across Morocco. Santa Barbara: Black Sparrow Press.
Said, Edward W. 1978. Orientalism. New York: Penguin Books.
Saussure, Ferdinand de. (1916) 2011. Course in General Linguistics. Translated by Wade Baskin. Edited by Perry Meisel and Haun Saussy. New York: Columbia University Press.
Segalen, Victor. 2002. Essay on Exoticism: An Aesthetics of Diversity. Translated by Yael Rachel Schlick. Durham: Duke University Press.
Spurr, David. 1993. The Rhetoric of Empire: Colonial Discourse in Journalism, Travel Writing and Imperial Administration. London: Duke University Press.
Staszak, François-Jean. 2009. “Other/Otherness.” In International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, edited by Rob Kitchin and Nigel Thrift, 43–47. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Thompson, Carl. 2011. Travel Writing. London: Routledge.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2021 Abderrazzak Oumoussa
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors are confirming that they are the authors of the submitting article, which will be published (print and online) in journal ELOPE by Znanstvena založba Filozofske fakultete Univerze v Ljubljani (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Aškerčeva 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia). Author’s name will be evident in the article in journal. All decisions regarding layout and distribution of the work are in hands of the publisher.
- Authors guarantee that the work is their own original creation and does not infringe any statutory or common-law copyright or any proprietary right of any third party. In case of claims by third parties, authors commit their self to defend the interests of the publisher, and shall cover any potential costs.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.