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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.
Artistic development, Culture, Exile, Expatriatism, Foreignness,
Hybridity, Immigrant, Memoir, Mental Health, Occidentalism, Orientalism, Post-
Colonial Studies, Refugee, Shock, Transformation, Xenotropism.
School of Humanities, Faculty of Arts University of Adelaide, South Australia, 5001.