1. ConceptThe substantive form “exoticism” has been found in the European languages only since the mid-19th century, for example in French since 1846 , but the adjective “exotic” (from the Greek
exotikós, “foreign”) was used in the early modern period. Its first attestation is in François Rabelais'
Quart Livre (1548), where it describes “various tapestries, animals, fishes, birds, and other commodities” offered for sale by “merchants from Africa and Asia” . Diderot and d'Alembert's
Encyclopédie relates the term solely to plants (French
arbre exotique) fro…