Through the Looking Glass: The Oriental Roots of Mickey Mouse and Brer Rabbit Are a Well-Kept Secret. but for Centuries Animal Fables Have Bridged the Divide between East and West, Finds Marina Warner
Warner, Marina, New Statesman (1996)
The celebrated polemic that Edward Said mounted in his 1978 study Orientalism has come under heavy artillery recently, and his attackers, in their often abusively personal animus against Said (Christopher de Bellaigue in the Times Literary Supplement takes a swipe at his shoes), do less than justice to an argument that his oeuvre develops--an alternative story about intercultural exchange and influence over une longue duree, as displayed so vividly in the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. Said's thinking about culture enriched the polemical thrust of Orientalism, evolving his thinking and giving it nuance: I once went to hear him lecture at Cambridge on Berlioz's Troyens fully expecting scathing comments about the representation of Trojan barbarians (subalterns), but, instead, he dwelt admiringly on the opera's musical perfections.
There is a counter-narrative about the Orient and western culture, one opposed to hostility and greed as the operating dynamics of culture. It traces the mutual interrelationship of literature, stressing this symbiosis against ideas of ethnic fingerprinting and cultural clash. In this respect, Brer Rabbit and Mickey Mouse are the descendants of the jackal Dimna and his friends in the 8th-century Arabic story cycle The Mirror for …
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Publication information: Article title: Through the Looking Glass: The Oriental Roots of Mickey Mouse and Brer Rabbit Are a Well-Kept Secret. but for Centuries Animal Fables Have Bridged the Divide between East and West, Finds Marina Warner. Contributors: Warner, Marina - Author. Magazine title: New Statesman (1996). Volume: 135. Issue: 4795 Publication date: June 5, 2006. Page number: 38+. © Not available. COPYRIGHT 2006 Gale Group.
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