Historie – Otázky – Problémy

Biblical alterity and discourses of Othering in the Bohemian early modern travel literature

Abstract: The article is concerned with the ways, how Oriental Other, seen as a textual effect, was performed in the early modern Bohemian travelogues on Holy Land and Islamic Near East. The author analyses at first a so-called Biblical alterity – the mainstream period Othering, where the route of pilgrimage itself as well as traveller?´s experience and representations of the landscape and Orientals were intertextually determined by the Holy Scripture. Above all the period literary practice (“writing in excerpts“) caused Bible became the main subtext of early modern Near East travelogues. The particular form of early modern Orientalism that could be thematised in Kryštof Harant?´s travelogue Putování aneb cesta (1608) is considered as the second mode of the period Othering. It developed a complex imagination of the Other, which criticised the Oriental civilisation and Islamic religious practices (“ritus“ and “vita et mores“) and performed them it in an inferior position to the European Christian social order, operating among others with discourses of a sexualized and disgusting Oriental body.

Key words: travel literature, Near East, early modern, Bohemia, Othering, Orientalism

PhDr. Lucie Storchová, Ph.D., působí ve Filozofickém ústavu AV ČR, v. v. i., a přednáší na FHS UK ( storchova_lucie@yahoo.com)