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Dirassat

Abstract

Edith Wharton's In Morocco, written in 1920, is considered one of the classics of American travel literature. It is Wharton's account of her one-month journey through Moroccoin1917.In this book, which relies on colonial French historiography, Wharton explores Morocco and its people, recording her encounter with and impressions of a non-Western culture. She describes Moroccan cities and architecture, provides accounts of religious ceremonies and ritual dances, and depicts the Sultan's palaces and the "mysterious» world of his harem. As a travel narrative dealing with Morocco, Wharton's In Morocco is representative of Orientalist discourse and is informed by an intent to see the Other through the Western imperialist gaze. As I will attempt to show in the present essay, Wharton’s representation of Morocco raises the issue of essentialization and orientalization of Morocco as the exotic other. The aim of this essay then is to analyse the ways in which Wharton's representation of Morocco as the Oriental Other conforms to the Orientalist discourse on the Islamic Orient.

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