Strange scoundrels on the scene: the secularisation of the Ottoman spectre and the concept of gouvernementality in early modern spectacles in the Southern Netherlands
KeywordsLanguages and Literatures
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AbstractThis article examines rep resentations of the Ottomans in spectacles which took place in the Southern Netherlands between 1454 and 1761. With their,prominent presence in the West, the Ottomans represented a powerful and strange empire that stirred fear while at the same time compelling great admiration. It is remarkable to see to what extent cultural differences between the Orient and the West could still be explained in a religious discourse. However, an alternative secular view was also developing, with emphasis on the supposed way the Ottomans set up and organised their society.! Basing itself on five theatrical events which took place in the Southern Netherlands - a banquet, ajoyous entry, two ballets, and a comical opera - this study focuses specifically on this rising secular perspective and its impact on theatrical representations of the Ottomans,, and more generally on the manner in which the West came, to think about the 'Self vis A vis the (Oriental) 'Other'.