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Over the nineteenth century France built up an empire second only to Britain's, and the literary tradition in which it dealt with its colonial 'Others' is often understood in terms inspired by Edward Said's description of orientalism as a Western projection over and will to govern the Orient. Yet some exotic literature disturbs such simple categorization, offering glimpses of colonial resistance, critique of imperialist hegemony, or a blurring of the boundaries between the Self and the Other. Pointing towards a series of ways in which the imperialist will to govern the Other is subverted in the nineteenth century, this volume gives detailed case studies of key works by Chateaubriand, Hugo, Flaubert and Segalen.