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The Orient of Chateaubriand

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sivaelectric GMAT Destroyer!
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The Orient of Chateaubriand Post Sun May 29, 2011 12:58 am
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    On a visit to Beirut during the terrible civil war of 1975-1976 a French journalist wrote regretfully of the gutted downtown area that “it had once seemed to belong to… the Orient of Chateaubriand and Nerval.” He was right about the place, of course, especially insofar as a European was concerned. The Orient was almost a European invention, and had been since antiquity a place of romance, exotic beings, haunting memories and landscapes, remarkable experiences. Now it was disappearing; in a sense it had happened, its time was over. Perhaps it seemed irrelevant that Orientals themselves had something at stake in the process, and even in the time of Chateaubriand and Nerval Orientals had lived there, and that now it was they who were suffering; the main thing for the European visitor was a European representation of the Orient and its contemporary fate, both of which had a privileged communal significance for the journalist and his French readers.

    Americans will not feel quite the same about the Orient, which for them is much more likely to be associated very differently with the Far East (China and Japan, mainly). Unlike the Americans, the French and the British-less so the Germans, Russians, Spanish, Portuguese, Italians, and Swiss-have had a long tradition of what I shall call Orientalism, a way of coming to terms with the Orient that is based on the Orient's special place in European western experience. The Orient is not only adjacent to Europe; it is also the place of Europe's greatest and richest and oldest colonies, the source of its civilizations and languages, its cultural contestant, and one of its deepest and most recurring images of the Other. In addition, the Orient has helped to define Europe (or the West) as its contrasting image, idea, personality, experience. Yet none of this Orient is merely imaginative. The Orient is an integral part of European material civilization and culture. Orientalism expresses and represents that part culturally and even ideologically as a mode of discourse with supporting institutions, vocabulary, scholarship, imagery, doctrines, even colonial bureaucracies and colonial styles. In contrast, the American understanding of the Orient will seem considerably less dense, although our recent Japanese, Korean, and Indochinese adventures ought now to be creating a more sober, more realistic Oriental awareness. Moreover, the vastly expanded American political and economic role in the Near East (the Middle East) make great claims on our understanding of that Orient.

    1.The main purpose of the author in using the term Orientalism is to describe
      A.the Oriental perception of the Orient
      B.the Oriental mode of discourse
      C.the European perception of the Orient
      D.European adaptations of Oriental culture
      E.Oriental adaptations of European institutions


    2.The passage suggests that, because of its experience in the Orient, the United States should be developing an attitude toward the Orient that is more __________________ than the European attitude. The best completion for the blank is
      A.imaginative
      B.self-centered
      C.arrogant
      D.privileged
      E.objective


    3.The author states that the European tradition of Orientalism differs from the American tradition of Orientalism in which of the following ways?
      A.Europe’s dislike of the Orient
      B.Europe’s domination of the Orient
      C.Ancient trade routes connecting the Orient and Europe
      D.The proximity of the Orient to Europe
      E.Europe’s relationship to the Orient is a more political one than that of America

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    Chitra Sivasankar Arunagiri

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    Post Sun May 29, 2011 10:50 pm
    sivaelectric wrote:
    On a visit to Beirut during the terrible civil war of 1975-1976 a French journalist wrote regretfully of the gutted downtown area that “it had once seemed to belong to… the Orient of Chateaubriand and Nerval.” He was right about the place, of course, especially insofar as a European was concerned. The Orient was almost a European invention, and had been since antiquity a place of romance, exotic beings, haunting memories and landscapes, remarkable experiences. Now it was disappearing; in a sense it had happened, its time was over. Perhaps it seemed irrelevant that Orientals themselves had something at stake in the process, and even in the time of Chateaubriand and Nerval Orientals had lived there, and that now it was they who were suffering; the main thing for the European visitor was a European representation of the Orient and its contemporary fate, both of which had a privileged communal significance for the journalist and his French readers.

    Americans will not feel quite the same about the Orient, which for them is much more likely to be associated very differently with the Far East (China and Japan, mainly). Unlike the Americans, the French and the British-less so the Germans, Russians, Spanish, Portuguese, Italians, and Swiss-have had a long tradition of what I shall call Orientalism, a way of coming to terms with the Orient that is based on the Orient's special place in European western experience. The Orient is not only adjacent to Europe; it is also the place of Europe's greatest and richest and oldest colonies, the source of its civilizations and languages, its cultural contestant, and one of its deepest and most recurring images of the Other. In addition, the Orient has helped to define Europe (or the West) as its contrasting image, idea, personality, experience. Yet none of this Orient is merely imaginative. The Orient is an integral part of European material civilization and culture. Orientalism expresses and represents that part culturally and even ideologically as a mode of discourse with supporting institutions, vocabulary, scholarship, imagery, doctrines, even colonial bureaucracies and colonial styles. In contrast, the American understanding of the Orient will seem considerably less dense, although our recent Japanese, Korean, and Indochinese adventures ought now to be creating a more sober, more realistic Oriental awareness. Moreover, the vastly expanded American political and economic role in the Near East (the Middle East) make great claims on our understanding of that Orient.

    1.The main purpose of the author in using the term Orientalism is to describe
      A.the Oriental perception of the Orient
      B.the Oriental mode of discourse
      C.the European perception of the Orient
      D.European adaptations of Oriental culture
      E.Oriental adaptations of European institutions


    2.The passage suggests that, because of its experience in the Orient, the United States should be developing an attitude toward the Orient that is more __________________ than the European attitude. The best completion for the blank is
      A.imaginative
      B.self-centered
      C.arrogant
      D.privileged
      E.objective


    3.The author states that the European tradition of Orientalism differs from the American tradition of Orientalism in which of the following ways?
      A.Europe’s dislike of the Orient
      B.Europe’s domination of the Orient
      C.Ancient trade routes connecting the Orient and Europe
      D.The proximity of the Orient to Europe
      E.Europe’s relationship to the Orient is a more political one than that of America

    _________________
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    sivaelectric GMAT Destroyer!
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    Post Sun May 29, 2011 11:22 pm
    OA 1.C, 2.E, 3.D

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    Chitra Sivasankar Arunagiri

    vikram4689 GMAT Titan
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    Post Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:28 am
    Marked D,A,D....any explanations given

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    Ozlemg GMAT Destroyer!
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    Post Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:55 am
    i went with C,A,D

    i could not find any clue about the 2nd quesiton. Why is the answer objective? which sentence should I look at?

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    sandeep800 Really wants to Beat The GMAT!
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    Post Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:43 pm
    I went with A A D Sad

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