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King, Yanbin: "Dickinson’s Orient, Orientalized Poetics, and Thoreau/Emerson"

Dickinson’s Orient, Orientalized Poetics, and Thoreau/Emerson

Yanbin King, Guilin University of Electronic Technology

The emerging critical impulse to Orientalize Dickinson compels us to examine Dickinson’s engagement with the Orient. I will argue that the primary import of the Orient for Dickinson is its alternative mode of achieving serenity, even though few phrases indicate such a link. This essay will highlight the Oriental nature of those elements in Dickinson’s poetry, without apparent Oriental designation. Dickinson’s non-action and the relevant motifs have Eastern resonance, echoing a cultural construct about the Orient or Eastern quotations, in Emerson and Thoreau’s writings. The discussion will also cover strands of Orientalisms interweaving Dickinson’s writings, reassessing her motivations and implications as an Orientalist and her idiosyncratic reconceptualization of a Cosmopolitan.