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This essay collection embarks on a historical voyage into the idea of the West, while contextualising its relevance to the contemporary discourses on cultural difference. Although the idea of the West predates both colonial and Orientalist projects, it has been radically reshaped by the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the end of the Cold War and the 9/11 attacks. In the wake of these developments, this collection attends to the nebulous paradigm shifts that account for a reconfiguration of the conventional coordinates of the West (West vs. Rest, Orient vs. Occident). The essays featured in this collection draw upon a wide range of theories from a comparative perspective. Taken together, the collection covers a vast terrain of textual and non-textual sources, including novels, political and poetological programs, video-clips and hypertexts, while exploring the formal-aesthetic representations of the West from interdisciplinary perspectives as diverse as German classicism, (post-)modern Britain, Canada, China, Ireland and the postcolonial world.