This book concerns the retracing of the steps of the colonial project beyond the binary oppositions and Manichean divisions of master and slave, colonizer and colonized, Christian and infidel, to the nexus of the colonial exchange – civilization and savagery. This book examines prominent Christian and Muslim texts on alterity from accounts of the Alexandrian library to Derek Walcott’s Omeros, to Christopher Marlowe’s Tamburlain. Through a broad anthro-literary re-reading of historical sources and Elizabethan, colonial, and modern fiction and art, the argument is made about the basis of encounter, trade and exchange amongst different nations, tribes and selves of the old and new worlds, which precipitated the international world era before globalization. It was not the apparent differences in race, class, religion and belief, nor was it strictly due to the access to a single paradigm of technology, which brought about geo-political hegemony. Rather, the argument becomes valid through the opposition between civilization and savagery. The basic differences are in what people do, the actions they perform, and the attitudes they strike, not in what people think of themselves. (Imprint: Nova)
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