Post-Orientalism in the Poetry of Modern St. Petersburg Scholars

Mikhail Rodionov


To mark its one hundred and fiftieth anniversary in 2005 the Oriental Department of St. Petersburg State University published a slim volume of verse, About East, about Love, by staff, graduates and students. Since then three more have been added. Including contributions from past orientalists, the series was given the collective Arabic name al-Manakh, (Bivouac). The main feature that connects all the contributors is their passion for distant travels. Escaping categorisation according to official Soviet ideology or to the kind of Orientalism theorised by Edward Said, the poems often make ambiguous reference for what can be for Russians unstable notions of ‘East and West’. A common pre-occupation has been a trans-linguistic approach or crossing boundaries between languages and in the quest for understanding cultural diversity make strange and exotic things become friendly and familiar.

Keywords: Orientalism, Post-Orientalism, translingualism, interculturality

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University of Sunderland

ISSN 2057-2042 (Print)
ISSN 2057-2050 (Online)



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