Monstrous East, Hybrid, and Border in Three Constance Romances
|Keywords:||康斯坦傳奇;疆界;身分;混種;妖異東方;戀物;掩蓋（物）;Constance Saga;border;identity;hybrid;monstrous East;fetish;cover||Issue Date:||2015||Abstract:||
This thesis investigates the Eastern motifs and the complex interplay between self and other in the King of Tars, the Man of Law’s Tale, and Emaré. These Constance analogues mirror the internal instability born from a world full of movement and intimate contact with the threatening others on one hand, and struggle to handle the problems concerning hybrids and border on the other hand. Following Geraldine Heng’s research by interpreting romance as a coping mechanism that discovers and makes a safe language of cultural discussion, I aim to investigate the ineffable anxiety over identity underlying the seemingly ideal presentment of hagiographical tales. The first chapter traces the literary tradition of the “Marvels of the East” and offers a closer look into the historical and cultural conditions during and after the Crusades era. The second chapter explores the characterization of Saracens, the construction of border, and the process of (de-)hybridization in the King of Tars. The third chapter analyzes Constance’s journey to “the East” and the multifaceted doubles in the Man of Law’s Tale. The fourth chapter scrutinizes the layers of “clothing” and the intermingled relationship between the East and the West in the romance of Emaré. Though presenting religion as the simple, superficial solutions to the crises encountered by the heroines, the Constance stories reveal in fact the insecurity and unease caused by both external strangers and the no longer stable perception of selfhood. This thesis endeavors to bring critical insight into the space of ambivalence, the various forms of cover, and the fetish and fetishization in the (re-)presentation of the Islamic others in order to examine how the delineations of the others retrospectively comment on the identity problems and the anxiety of the West.
|Appears in Collections:||外國語文學系|
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