A term coined by literary and cultural critic Edward Said to denote a fascination with Asian culture. For Said, it is this fascination, and cultural appropriation, which is real-rather than any actual image of Asian cultures. Modernist poets like Pound and Williams implicitly critique modern society by turning to Asian culture, which they see as foreign and exotic. Viewed as an escape from or alternative to the increasingly mechanized and alienating modern world, the Orient is used as a symbol of a more tranquil life. Modernist poets were attracted by particular characteristics of Asian art, including the affinity with nature, appreciation of the ordinary, and commitment to clean, economic language. Like primitivism, orientalism can often seem patronizing and even racist because it tends to view all Asians and Asian culture stereotypically.