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About this product
- DescriptionEdward Said's Orientalism has been much praised for its account of Western perceptions of the Orient. But the English-speaking world has for too long been unaware of ather classic in the same field which appeared in France only a year later. Alain Grosrichard's The Sultan's Court is a fascinating survey of Western accounts of Oriental despotism in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It focuses particularly on portrayals of the Ottoman Empire and the supposedly enigmatic structure of the despot's court - the seraglio - with its viziers, janissaries, mutes, dwarfs, eunuchs and countless wives. Drawing on the writings of travellers and philosophers such as Montesquieu, Rousseau and Voltaire, Grosrichard goes further than merely cataloguing their intense fascination with the vortex of capriciousness, violence, cruelty, lust, sexual perversion and slavery which they perceived in the seraglio. Deftly and subtly using a Lacanian psychoanalytical framework, he describes the process as one in which these leading Enlightenment figures were constructing a fantastic Other to counterpose their project of a rationally based society. The Sultan's Court seeks t to refute the misconceptions but rather explore the nature of the fantasy and what it can reveal about modern political thought and power relations more generally.
- Author BiographyAlain Grosrichard is professor of seventeenth-and eighteenth-century French literature at the University of Geneva and was a member of the Ecole de la Cause Freudienne. He has published widely on psychoanalysis and the history of literature.
- Author(s)Alain Grosrichard
- PublisherVerso Books
- Date of Publication18/06/1998
- SubjectLiterary Criticism
- Series TitleWo es war
- Place of PublicationLondon
- Country of PublicationUnited Kingdom
- ImprintVerso Books
- Content Noteblack & white illustrations
- Weight578 g
- Width136 mm
- Height230 mm
- Spine22 mm
- Translated byLiz Heron
- Introduction byMladen Dolar
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