The Ambiguity of the Turkish in Early Modern German Narrative Literature

This project is thematically and historically closely affiliated to the former research project “Undetermined baroque poetry. Poetic and confessional ambiguity in Silesia as cultural dynamic factors of a new German poetry (1620-1742)”. It widens the focus that ruled the scope of research so far in a twofold regard: On the one hand, by taking literary reflections of the Islam into account the range of interest moves from the dimension of inner-Christian confessional differences to those between the major religious groups. According to that the differentiation of Islam/Christianity will take the focus. On the other hand, the ambiguity of ‚the Turkish‘ as a construction of a foreign culture emphasizes both phenomena of religious and ethnic difference. The fundamental stance in researching the question of ambiguity will be the scaling between the threats and fascination of all Turkish. The prevailing early modern concept of the turkish enemy will be considered against historic perspectives of intercultural amazement. While up to now the scientific point of interest is historically based in the Baroque henceforth the follow up-project will go beyond and expand into 16th as well as 18th century. The textual corpus comprises little reflected literary narrative pieces in early modern descriptions of and reflections on the Turkish. The analysis extends to literary forms in a more narrow understanding (esp. novel and epic poem) as well as to functional texts (esp. travel literature, pamphlets, broadsheets and periodicals), which portray factual reality in a narrative shape (‘Wirklichkeitserzählungen’), according to coeval concepts of reality. These genres will be surveyed in a comparative approach.