Linguaculture, Volume 6, Number 2, 2015

 

GOING EAST: MENTAL AND GEOGRAPHICAL MAPS
Issue Editors: Laurence Raw and Rodica Dimitriu
 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 


Laurence Raw
Bașkent University, Ankara, Turkey

Abstract & Keywords

This essay exposes the constructed nature of the east/west binary as a means by which westerners (especially) can reinforce their sense of superiority, while easterners can use it as an intellectual stick to criticize their western counterparts. In its place I advocate a more measured approach based on listening to and understanding alternative perspectives, not only in terms of interpersonal relationships but in terms of personal psychology. The importance of mesearch as a concept, uniting scholarly and personal approaches, is proposed as a means to achieve this aim.
Keywords: colonialism, binarisms, mesearch, travel, psychology
 
Oana Cogeanu
Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, Romania

Abstract & Keywords

Prompted by the observations of a European scholar in African-American studies living in South-East Asia, this article addresses the ideological value of whiteness with a view to understanding its apparently global aesthetic fascination and societal power. To this purpose, the article traces the European, American and Asian conceptualization and employment of the signs of whiteness. The first section investigates the correlated philosophical and scientific construction of whiteness as a racial signifier in Europe. The second section focuses on social and cultural practices of white vs. black identification and the critique thereof in the United States. The third section highlights the appeal of whiteness as a status signifier in Asia. Whiteness is commonly employed as a sign of superiority, assumed by the self or assigned to the other (within): the article suggests that such power derives from a common mystical symbolism, upheld by philosophy, sanctioned by science, implemented by social policy and marketed by corporations.
Keywords: white, black, ideology, African-American, South-East Asia
 
Vassilis Letsios
Ionian University, Corfu, Greece

Abstract & Keywords

In this article I will discuss two different attitudes of traveling in mid-nineteenth century Greece, at a crucial time for the “western” or “eastern” orientation of the Greek state. To capture this I will demonstrate aspects of the travel writing of two Finnish travelers in nineteenth century Greece. The first recognized in modern Greece the light of classical antiquity and the importance of its conveying to the west, the second focused on contemporary Greece and its connection with the east. The two travelers, with a common starting point and at about the same time, traveled in a very different way in nineteenth century Greece and with their different skills “opened” different ideological horizons in a place that they both “loved” and “hated” for different reasons. How does the binary “east/ west?” relate to the travelers’ expectations and predispositions at a time of the development of modern Greek identities and consciousness?.
Keywords: travel writing, nineteenth century, Greece, Finland, binarisms, Classical Greece, Orientalism
 
Raluca Goleșteanu
Institute of History - PAN, Warsaw, Poland

Abstract & Keywords

This article proposes a reading of Milica Bakiü-Hayden`s concept of “nesting orientalisms” in a wider regional context, by showing some of its first manifestations, as employed one hundred years or so ago. The debut of this phenomenon is part of the nineteenth century trend of traveling to “Eastern Europe,” and of appropriating it as such, in the desire to compete with the previous century, especially with the latter`s attempt of designing the map according to the dichotomy: “enlightened-ignorant peoples.” Consequently, the adoption of the concept of “Eastern Europe” by western public opinion triggered reactions from the part of the local élites expressed in the establishment of a corpus of texts, which reflect on the nearby geographical area. This effort represented in fact the third stage of the west-east dynamics that accompanied modernization in the region. The texts to be discussed in this article, apart from the century`s blind faith in progress, display the obsession of being “in between,” raising it to a sine qua non condition of the region; their authors often found themselves in difficulties in relation to dilemmas like professional/national identities, local/central loyalties, religious/secular views.
Keywords: Central and Eastern Europe, national identity, nesting orientalisms, east/west, geopolitics
 
Sorina Georgescu
Hyperion University of Bucharest, Romania

Abstract & Keywords

This article analyzes the way William Wilkinson, a Levant Company member, perceives two Romanian countries situated at the edge of the Ottoman Empire, one of the British Oriental Others, in his An Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia with Various Political Observations Relating to Them, published in London in 1820 and written after several years of official residence mainly in Bucharest (1813-1816). Since the book has not been previously analyzed, except f or the theme of religion by Professor James Brown, this article proposes to approach it from several different points of view: the author, the Company and the image of the Turks; economic opportunities, prohibition, organization; Romanian history; cities, monuments, travelling system, inhabitants. What this study wishes to demonstrate is that, through both criticism and appreciation, Wilkinson’s book is one of sympathy and mercy towards the Romanian people – a pledge for their freedom.
Keywords: William Wilkinson, Levant Company, Wallachia, Moldavia, Romanian history
 
Andi Sâsâiac
Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, Romania

Abstract & Keywords

Although globalization brings different countries and cultures in closer and closer contact, people are still sensitive when it comes to aspects such as cultural specificity or ethnicity. The collapse of communism and the extension of the European Union have determined an increase of interest in Romania’s image, both on the part of foreigners and of Romanians themselves. The purpose of this paper is to follow the development of Romania’s image in English travelogues in the last hundred years, its evolution from a land of “woods and water” in the pre-communist era to a “grand bazaar” in the post- communist one, with clear attempts, in recent years, to re-dis cover a more idyllic picture of the country, one that should encourage ecological tourism. The article is also intended to illustrate the extra-textual (historical, economic, cultural) factors that have impacted, in different ways, on this image evolution.
Keywords: image, cliché, stereotype, travel writing, travelogue, history, power relations
 
Dana Bădulescu
Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, Romania

Abstract & Keywords

This article, originally a talk on Antoaneta Ralian’s fairly recently published memoirs, is a tribute to our most accomplished and venerated translator from English into Romanian, who started from the big dream of traveling around the world, pursuing and fulfilling it through turning her life into a quest where traveling and translating gave her the greatest joy of living. Hers were times when, during the communist regime in Romania, only the happy few could travel. Ralian was of those few: she traveled (west and east) as a translator, and traveling she translated from one culture into another. Quoting extensively from the book in the light of what made Ralian’s life so rich, I argue (implicitly) that translation itself is a journey and an intercultural activity which shapes and transforms the translator’s personality. In an even broader anthropological sense, it is an essential bridge built across two languages, two cultures and (as Ralian understood it) two persons: the author and the translator.
Keywords: memoirs, traveling, journey, reading, translation