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Download A Postcolonial Woman’s Encounter with Moses and Miriam by Angeline M.G. Song PDF

By Angeline M.G. Song

This publication is grounded in a theorization of the author's own tale together with turning out to be up as a feminine adoptee of a unmarried mother or father in a patriarchal context, and present fabric context as an immigrant in New Zealand.

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However, even though I felt intensely for her and with her, I did not quite find myself literally being “magically transformed into this other,” as Vischer suggests. Throughout my experience, I still retained a strong sense of myself and a self–other distinction; I did not for one instant find myself being “magically transformed into” her in any way. I am deliberately making this point because in some ways, this issue lies at the heart of recent confusion over what the term “empathy” means. Initially, I wondered if Vischer had meant the fusion of the viewer and the viewed in a metaphorical sense.

This anecdote helps me to explain how “empathy” is understood in everyday usage. The word has become a part of our everyday working language, so it seems familiar, and yet oddly difficult to capture precisely. ” The emphasis tends to be on the emotional aspect since that is usually the first thing that strikes us when we empathize with someone: the deeply sad, deliriously happy or frightened feeling within ourselves. These emotions are sometimes accompanied by an outward, physical manifestation like crying or getting the “goose bumps”.

I was in Paris in July 2011, and viewing an exhibition of impressionist paintings when I encountered Jean-Léon Gérôme’s extremely realistic and provocative eighteenth-century painting Marché d’esclaves (The Slave Trade). Set in the ancient oriental world, it depicts a naked young woman being examined by a group of fully clothed male traders; one of them, presumably her potential buyer, was pressing his fingers against her teeth apparently to check her dental state, and it struck me then with a crude, rude force, that in his and the eyes of the other traders, she was merely a commodity.

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