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close this section of the library Nicole, Robert.


View the PDF document Extending orientalism to the Pacific : the myth of Tahiti revisited.
Author:Nicole, Robert.
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Award: M.A.
Subject: Discourse analysis, Literary, Functionalism (Linguistics), French literature -- History and criticism , Tahiti -- In literature
Date: 1993.
Call No.: pac P 302 .5 .N53
BRN: 907288
Copyright:10-20% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission

Abstract: Tahiti has for a long time been associated with paradise. Western writers have sung the beauty of this island and its inhabitants from the very first contact. The ensuing "myth" of Tahiti has generated thousands of studies of all sorts. Yet, as a body of texts which acquired increasing authority over the subject matter, these studies like the idea of the "myth" itself have tended to mask or ignore the essentially exploitative nature of the relationship between Tahitians and Europeans. Adapting Edward Said's theory of Orientalism, this thesis traces the kinds of discourses which have generated so much power and control over Tahiti, and accounts for the transformations in representations which have taken place up until the present day. The focus of the discussion will be mainly to demonstrate the role played by French literature in the construction, articulation, dissemination and subsequent marginalisation of Tahitians as racial and sexual "Others". As a counter-discourse, the literary responses of Tahitians to their present embattlement are also evaluated and assessed in terms of their success at remythologising "Tahitianness".
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