By Hsu-Ming Teo
The Sheik—E. M. Hull's best-selling novel that grew to become a wildly renowned movie starring Rudolph Valentino—kindled "sheik fever" around the Western international within the Nineteen Twenties. A craze for all issues romantically "Oriental" swept via type, movie, and literature, spawning imitations and parodies with no quantity. whereas that fervor has mostly subsided, stories of ardour among Western girls and Arab males proceed to enthrall readers of modern-day mass-market romance novels. during this groundbreaking cultural heritage, Hsu-Ming Teo lines the literary lineage of those wilderness romances and old bodice rippers from the 12th to the twenty-first century and explores the gendered cultural and political reasons that they've served at a number of ancient moments.
Drawing on "high" literature, erotica, and renowned romance fiction and flicks, Teo examines the altering meanings of Orientalist tropes resembling crusades and conversion, abduction via Barbary pirates, sexual slavery, the terror of renegades, the Oriental despot and his harem, the determine of the robust Western concubine, and fantasies of get away from the harem. She analyzes the impression of imperialism, decolonization, sexual liberation, feminism, and American involvement within the heart East on women's Orientalist fiction. Teo means that the increase of female-authored romance novels dramatically remodeled the character of Orientalism since it feminized the discourse; made white ladies crucial as manufacturers, shoppers, and imagined actors; and revised, reversed, or collapsed the binaries inherent in conventional analyses of Orientalism.
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Desert Passions: Orientalism and Romance Novels by Hsu-Ming Teo