Orientalism and David Hockney’s Cavafy Etchings: Exploring a Male-positive Imaginative Geography

By Dennis S. Gouws.

Published by The Arts Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In their attempts at representing Constantine P. Cavafy’s Alexandria, David Hockney’s Cavafy Etchings offer more than a neocolonial authorization of the poet’s Mediterranean Orient: they subvert generic Western depictions of their locale in order to create a male-positive imaginative geography; an unique version of Edward Said’s “free-floating mythology of the Orient” that presents an affirmative, unconventional view of the homoerotics of Orientalism (Orientalism 53). This paper examines the political and aesthetic characteristics of the Orient in the Cavafy Etchings; three topics are explored: first, how Hockney’s works exemplify Said’s Orientalism; second, how these etchings subvert the conventions of British Orientalist art; and finally, how they exemplify a male-positive imaginative geography.

Keywords: Orientalism, Male-positive Criticism, David Hockney

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 6, Issue 6, pp.275-286. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 946.584KB).

Dr. Dennis S. Gouws

Associate Professor, Humanities Department, Springfield College, Springfield, MA, USA

Dr. Dennis Gouws is an Associate Professor at Springfield College and a Lecturer at the University of Connecticut, Storrs. His research and teaching interests include masculinities, Victorian literature, and the male-positive education of men and boys. He has published essays on men’s issues and is writing a book on masculinities in George Eliot’s novels.

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