Richard Burton, T.E. Lawrence and the culture of homoerotic desire: orientalist depictions of Arab sexuality

Alkabani, Feras (2016) Richard Burton, T.E. Lawrence and the culture of homoerotic desire: orientalist depictions of Arab sexuality. Library of Ottoman studies: depictions of orientalist Arab sexuality . I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd, London. ISBN 9781784535698

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Abstract

Notions of 'respectability', 'propriety' and 'sexual morality' were being transformed in literary and cultural discourses, a shift that was related to the gradual rise in anti-Ottoman Arab nationalism. However, contemporary Orientalists such as Sir Richard Burton and T.E. Lawrence were oblivious to certain aspects of this process of cultural reconfiguration. While accounts of male-love poetry (ghazal al-mudhakkar) were being gradually expurgated from the Arab literary heritage, elaborate narratives of Oriental homoerotic desire distinctively characterise the encounters of both Burton and Lawrence with the Arab East. By comparing their autobiographical accounts of the Arab Orient with contemporary Arabic literature, Feras Alkabani is able to expose this critical disparity in cross-cultural portrayals of sexual morality and homoerotic desire. Alkabani relates the conflicting agendas of contemporary Orientalists and Arab scholars to the shifts in international imperial power relations and the eventual collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

His detailed comparative study reveals the significance of homoerotic desire within Orientalist and Arab literary discourses at a time when the meaning and connotations of poetic male-love were undergoing a critical change in Arab culture and literature. It will prove invaluable for those researching nationalism, imperialism and manifestations of homoerotic desire in the fin-de-siecle Middle East.

Item Type: Book
Schools and Departments: School of English > English
Subjects: D History General and Old World
D History General and Old World > DA History of Great Britain
J Political Science > JZ International relations
P Language and Literature
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
P Language and Literature > PR English literature > PR0001 Literary history and criticism
P Language and Literature > PR English literature > PR0125 Relations to other literatures and countries
P Language and Literature > PR English literature > PR0911 Letters
P Language and Literature > PR English literature > PR4000 19th century, 1770/1800-1890/1900
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Depositing User: Feras Alkabani
Date Deposited: 31 May 2016 09:30
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2017 17:26
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/61202
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