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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Orientalism and De-Orientalism in Contemporary Latin America: Reading César Aira

  • Author(s): Ko, Chisu Teresa
  • et al.
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License

Scholars of Latin American Orientalism have argued that Orientalism from Latin America, because of its peripheral position, does not harbor imperialist intentions but rather a desire for South-South allegiances. Nonetheless, contemporary depictions of Asia and Asians continue to be deeply stereotyped and Orientalist. This paper examines the functions of the Orientalist imaginary in present-day Latin America, especially as consumers and producers have become aware of Orientalism’s discursive power. Analyzing three Asian-themed novels by César Aira, this article argues that there is a momentous convergence of Orientalism and de-Orientalism in contemporary culture which at once dehumanizes and accepts Asia.

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