On Discovery Essay

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Yu is an assistant professor American literature at Western Washington University. He has published critical essays on Henry David Thoreau, Fanny Fern, and Sui Sin Far. In the following essay, Yu discusses the contrast between "high culture" and "low culture" in Asian-American literature and delves into the historical and literary influences of Kingston's "On Discovery "

The Orient, Edward Said postulates, is a "European invention" of the "Middle East" as a "place of romance, exotic beings, haunting memories and landscapes, remarkable experiences." Orientalism is a Eurocentric and hegemonic discourse that "can be discussed and analyzed as the corporate institution for dealing with the Orient-dealing with it by making statements about it, ruling over it: in short, Orientalism as a Western style for domination, restructuring, and having authority over the Orients."

But America's concept of the Orient, according to Said, is different from that of Europe, for it is "much...

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This section contains 2,961 words
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