Xenotropism and the Awakening of Literary Expatriatism through Writing Memoirs

Indexed in: EBSCO

Although there have been many discussions about challenges faced by individuals going through East to West migrations, there are few literary accounts about those moving from the West to the East. ...
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Xenotropism

Pp. 7-32 (26)

Christine Velde

Abstract

Chapter 2 defines xenotropism, past and current theories of foreignness and the meaning and characteristics of foreignness. It asserts that current thinking perceives the image of the foreign differently. No longer does it sees the foreigner as a neurotic artist, but describes it as an expatriating process towards self development. This section is courageous in its attempt to describe the nature of a spiritual experience and how this is relates to experiencing the foreign. The difference between travelling to a foreign country and actually living there are not the same. Although many people confess they would like to go abroad and live in a foreign country, fewer take the risk to do so. This section also explains that after a long period of time in a foreign country, an expatriate may begin to see it as “home”. This chapter states that there is a need for a new approach to foreignness so that it is not feared. It suggests that this may be accomplished through the merging of the foreign and non-foreign into a new hybrid form. It also examines the differences between the Refugee, the Expatriate, the Immigrant, the Émigré and the Forced Exile. It examines the transformative process of xenotropism or turning to the foreign and discusses the challenges of expatriation. Chapter 2 explores writing as a cathartic process which can alleviate the effects of culture shock. It asserts that a transformative experience in a foreign country can facilitate an understanding and acceptance of different cultures, impact positively and negatively on mental health and represent viable material for writing memoir.

Keywords:

Artistic development, Culture, Exile, Expatriatism, Foreignness, Hybridity, Immigrant, Memoir, Mental Health, Occidentalism, Orientalism, Post- Colonial Studies, Refugee, Shock, Transformation, Xenotropism.

Affiliation:

School of Humanities, Faculty of Arts University of Adelaide, South Australia, 5001.