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Abstract Onorina Botezat

Images of the Other in 19th Century Romanian Women's Writings

The relatively new discipline of imagology was first developed in the field of comparative literature in the early 1960’s. The analysis of cross-cultural representations of national characters emerged from the awareness that generalizations about groups of people are constructions. Imagology traces its roots to social psychology and the studies regarding the origin of prejudices and stereotypes. The analytical approach to recurrent characterizations of groups as such uses the term “image” to describe the notional representation we form in our minds about otherness.

The insights provided by ethnology and anthropology have underlined the importance of the discourse of “alterity”, which is now understood as complementary to image studies and identity construction. Since imagology concerns the study of idealized images of an other, it opens up the possibility of understanding the connection between stereotype, social imagery, literature, culture, and society. Analyzing the gendered cultural other and the topoi of literary representation and the formation of cultural identities through the works of Elena V?c?rescu, Anna de Noailles, Dora d'Istria and Martha Bibescu underlines the way the female figure was imported and de-constructed within the literary understanding of the cultural diversity of the 19th century.

AsK, October 2012

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