Rhetorical Strategies of Alterity in Arthur Leared’s Morocco and the Moors (1876) and Budgett Meakin’s Life in Morocco (1905)

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Abstract

Arthur Leared’s Morocco and the Moors (1876) and Budgett Meakin’s Life in Morocco and Glimpses Beyond (1905) are two less-examined imperial travel texts on precolonial Morocco. These two travelogues are British (Irish and English, respectively) – a fact that casts on them from the beginning the special taste of this genre which is a British specialty par excellence. Coming from the same political and cultural backdrops, Leared and Meakin peregrinated into Morocco in a precolonial time when it was still perceived as the “Lands of the Moors”. These two travellers responded to moments of interactions with the Moors as a culturally, socially and religiously different other. Both these Victorian travellers were aware of the fact of empire as their travelogues function as fodder to energize the discursive grandiloquence of empire. They stress an ethnocentric view in depicting Moroccans and their culture, and they communicate their observations through an interpretative framework, or in Foucauldian terminology, through the “discourses” provided by their culture. This paper undertakes the examination of these two travellers’ perception of otherness; the approach is to question and bring to the fore the rhetorical and discursive strategies as well as modes of representation Leared and Meakin deploy in their encounters with the Moors in Pre-Protectorate Morocco.

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