The ‘Terrible’ Turk? – Early Images & Representations in Film & Western Literature

(80 customer reviews)

£1.99

JD Morgan explores early imagery and representations of the Ottoman Empire as well as the fledgling and then developing Republic of Turkey as he attempts to dispel the Western myth of ‘The Terrible Turk’ by presenting a more balanced perspective, based on a combination of academic research, personal insight and relevant artistic, literary and filmic interpretations. This full-length article also contains an extensive ‘Select Bibliography’. (12,000 words)

Description

Edward Said’s Orientalism is the most famous and one of the most controversial, critical and scholarly analyses on the representation of the Middle East ever published in the West. In his aforementioned magnum opus, Said claims that the historical relationship between the West (Occident) and the East (Orient) is an association that has been ‘constructed’ and ‘re-constructed’ through Western debates, discussions and discourses which have ‘defined’ and ‘re-defined’ the representation of the Orient and ‘oriental’ cultures per se. Therefore, this type of power relationship between dominant Western culture and its ‘inferior’ Eastern counterpart is a classic example of binary oppositions between the cultural ‘ascendancy’ and ‘domination’ of the West and the sub-cultural ‘subservience’ and ‘submission’ of the East: an aspect of Orientalism which Said himself describes as ‘a system of knowledge about the Orient [and] an acceptable grid for filtering through the Orient into Western consciousness.’

Consequently, given that the Western interpretation of the Orient is based upon the premise of socio-political, economic and cultural supremacy, during recent centuries, the ‘conquering’ Western colonial imperial powers (namely Britain, France and latterly, America) have been seen as dynamic and progressive, and ipso facto, in complete contrast to the ‘Otherness’ of their own ‘sub-cultural’ representation of the Orient as a static, traditional and backward land reliant upon the more ‘civilised’ cultural ‘dominance’ of the West for its raison d’être. In effect, Said claims that the West makes history (without ever appearing to experience a state of historical decline) whilst the subjugated ‘oriental’ sub-cultures of the East are presented as co-existing, but in binary opposition, and can therefore be represented as operating within a continuous state of stagnation, decay and decline – its history reshaped and written by Orientalists whose Western perspective and dominant cultural bias allows them the privileged position of being able to revise, label and ‘stereotype’ the Middle East, its cultures and its peoples, ad nauseam. Therefore, the claim made by Ziauddin Sardar that Orientalism has been ‘built out of the constructive imagination of the West’ is borne out through the examination of the oriental myths, archetypes and stereotypical imagery apparent within the history and traditions of Western European art forms. (Full story available for £1.99 using PayPal)

 

80 reviews for The ‘Terrible’ Turk? – Early Images & Representations in Film & Western Literature

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