The motif of Orientalism played an important role in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literary works in Europe. Fueling the creative imaginations of artists, literary figures, and in fact all of Europe. This fascination with the Orient also influenced many of the Romantic writers, who situated novels and poetry alike in the mysterious far-off lands of Turkey, India, the Middle-East, and Asia. In literature as well as in art, the Orient became associated with lush landscapes, eroticism, mystery, rich costume, and fierce military campaigns. English Romantic writers in search of the unusual and picturesque soon began to incorporate Oriental themes and subjects into their works. This new craze for Orientalism was also the reflection of several historical events such as the Egyptian campaign (1798-1799), the Greek war for Independence (1821-1829), the conquest of Algiers by the French (1830), the opening of the Suez Canal (1869), and the progressive dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire because of rivalries and of colonial ambitions.
Accurate Depictions? It has been said that “Oriental Studies” in the West have not always been inspired by the purest spirit of scholarly impartiality, and it is hard to deny that some Orientalists authors are more interested in presenting the exotic (and erotic) than a true representation of a culture.
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