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The Otherness of the Self: on Samuel Romanelli’s Travelogue

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Abstract This paper explores the particular way in which the subjectivy of the narrator is constructed in the Masa Ba-’Arav, Samuel Romanelli’s travelogue of his stay in Morocco between 1786 and 1790, published in Berlin in 1792. The Masa Ba-’Arav may be read as revealing the inadequacy of a discourse interested only in understanding every encounter with the Oriental Other in terms of ‘power’ and ‘hegemony.’ From the vantage point of the historian of literature, it shows how Romanelli’s literary rendition of his traumatic experience in Morocco within the European genre of the travelogue can be assumed as a possible paradigm for emergence from the ghetto and its anxieties.


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