Critique of Western depictions and studies of “the East” as orientalism and cultural essentialism have been the central point of postcolonial studies. For postcolonial scholars, essentialist orientalist discourse is a type of imperialism; it problematically neglects internal dynamics within vernacular Eastern values and presents Eastern cultures in homogeneous, rigid, and lifeless forms, all in the aim of constructing the East–West divide in which the East is always inferior and the West is always superior. This article complements the postcolonial critique of orientalist discourse by examining two novels published during the colonial time; they are The Juggler by Rachilde (1860–1953) and The Dark Room by R. K. Narayan (1905–2001). Specifically, the article compares domestic spaces described in the two novels in the aim of indicating the failure of Western discourse in presenting the world as open and fluid and in the aim of attending a current turn of the discipline of comparative literature.

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