Abstract

This essay excavates two key moments where the Orient appears in Aphra Behn's Oroonoko (1688) to romanticize transatlantic slavery and mediate relations between colonizer and colonized. The Orientalized practices of japanning, embalming, and tiger hunting—all techniques of preservation—feature prominently in the setting of Surinam, and demonstrate the relevance of Asia to colonial encounters of the transatlantic world. In the context of global commerce between East and West, the author borrows from contemporary developments in chinoiserie and natural history to construct a new myth of immortality, one that memorializes and objectifies slave labor through the commodity culture of the East Indies trade.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-315X
Print ISSN
0013-2586
Pages
pp. 235-253
Launched on MUSE
2009-01-23
Open Access
No
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