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Southern Thought and Other Essays on the Mediterranean$
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Franco Cassano, Norma Bouchard, and Valerio Ferme

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823233649

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823233649.001.0001

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Of Land and Sea

Of Land and Sea

Chapter:
(p.16) Chapter 2 Of Land and Sea
Source:
Southern Thought and Other Essays on the Mediterranean
Author(s):

Franco Cassano

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823233649.003.0003

In this chapter, the author's notion of the Mediterranean as a place of exchange and connections does not imply a facile endorsement of the historical creolization of the basin. His notion of interconnectedness is one that does not hide tensions, inequalities, and the asymmetries of power among cultures. But besides disclosing the fluid Mediterranean cartographies of intertwined and entangled histories and cultures, of patterns of creolization, contamination, and crossovers between North and South, East and West, a fundamental component of the author's recovery of the Mediterranean heritage is also his revisiting of the culture of ancient Greece. The author resorts to a geophilosophical explanation to describe how the fractal geography of the Aegean Sea was crucial to the development of ancient Greek thought. The presence of land bordering—and thus limiting—water, and of water bordering, and therefore containing, the liquid expanse of the sea, was internalized by ancient Greek culture, allowing it to avoid the fundamentalism of land and sea that the author has been located as the central aspect of the quest for dominance of Occidentalism.

Keywords:   Mediterranean, creolization, Greece, culture, geography, Aegean Sea, land, sea, Occidentalism

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