The Sultan Speaks: Dialogue in English Plays and Histories about the Ottoman Turks

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9781403974266: The Sultan Speaks: Dialogue in English Plays and Histories about the Ottoman Turks

The first study of English historical plays about the Turks, using works in Greek, Arabic, and Turkish. Drawing on Bakhtin's concept of the dialogic, McJannet shows that instead of adverse authorial commentary playwrights such as Marlowe and Fulke Greville use dialogue and commentary to enhance the sultan's stature and mitigate his negative acts.

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About the Author:

LINDA McJANNET is Professor of English at Bentley College, was educated at Wellesley College and Harvard University. She is the author of The Voice of Elizabethan Stage Directions: The Evolution of a Theatrical Code (1999).

Review:

"As the author notes in this welcome addition to the maturing scholarship dedicated to reassessing England s cultural exchange with Islam in the early modern period, the charge that, without direct recourse to Arabic and other Eastern sources, the prevailing emphasis upon Anglophone archives can only ever tell half the story has become all but axiomatic in the field. Through its careful examination of the sources for some English plays and histories concerned with the Ottomans, including some oft-visited landmarks in Marlowe s Tamburlaine and Knolles s Generall Historie of the Turkes, Linda McJannet s study goes some way toward mitigating this charge, or at least complicating the terms in which it must now be put. Reminding us that the east was Christian as well as Muslim and that Europe was Orthodox and Muslim as well as Catholic and Protestant (92),McJannet aligns herself with an emergent critical consensus skeptical of monolithic interpretations of East and West, occident and orient, in the early modern period (with Edward Said much in play)." - Renaissance Quarterly

"McJannet s two-fold aim in this detailed and fascinating study is, first, to show how English dramatists who wrote plays about the Ottomans were engaged in a specific forms of intercultural dialogue and, second, to demonstrate that they were influenced by what she calls "eastern sources." McJannet s specific focus is the "important and hitherto unappreciated role" of "eastern histories" translated from Greek, Arabic, or Turkish . . . in shaping the dialogues spoken in English-language history plays. Following Mikhail Bakhtin, she here uses "dialogue" to refer to both the dialogue between characters in a play text and to the dialogue about Ottoman history that, she contends, was implicitly being conducted between English dramatists, European historians and translators and their "eastern sources." Early European historians, McJannet argues, "reveal at least an initial willingness to let the other have his or her say," (p. ix), and this willingness influenced the words that dramatists put into the mouths of Ottoman characters, thereby often contradicting or qualifying popular and traditional views. This important claim confirms arguments made by other scholars of the drama, including [Richmond] Barbour and [Jonathan] Burton, that the model of orientalism in Edward Said s 1978 study proves inadequate, if not misleading, when dealing with early modern English-language writings." - The International Journal of Turkish Studies

"The undeniable main achievement of The Sultan Speaks is its sustained attention to the complex ways in which western representations of the Ottomans, and the sultan in particular, derived from cross-cultural and intertextual encounters. McJannet offers the most significant treatment of transculturation that I am aware of, taking in readings of Greek, Arab, and Ottoman texts to demonstrate how eastern texts played a role in the western representation of the Ottomans. This book will be eagerly read by all those interested in questions of early modern contact history, English relations with Islam and the east, English theater history, and cultural politics." - Jonathan Burton, Associate Professor of English, West Virginia University; author of Traffic and Turning: Islam and English Drama, 1579-1624

McJannet s The Sultan Speaks challenges the view that not much can be said about England and Islam in the early modern period without a thorough understanding of the classical languages of both traditions. Through rigorous archival research and an innovative theorization of dialogism, McJannet establishes that early modern English histories and the dramas deriving from them embed eastern sources from Byzantine, Ottoman, and Arab scholars. Her study thus speaks persuasively from within the English tradition not merely to genealogies of nascent orientalism, but beyond to previously neglected instances of cultural influence from east to west." - Bernadette Andrea, Associate Professor of English/Chair of the Department of English, Classics, and Philosophy, University of Texas at San Antonio; Author of Women and Islam in Early Modern English Literature (forthcoming)

"McJannet's detailed study of eastern sources available to early modern English playwrights opens up a newlycomplicated understanding of the relationship between the West and the Ottoman Empire.Looking at both Latin and vernacular sources culminating in the work of Richard Knolles and William Seaman, she provides a much more measured view than several of the plays themselves, allowing us to see where they drew from possible resources and where they transformed them in their own interests. Her close readings and her extensive bibliography, advancing our current interest in the subject considerably, are invaluable." - Arthur F. Kinney, Director of the Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies and Thomas W. Copeland Professor of Literary History, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

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Book Description Palgrave Macmillan. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Hardcover. 256 pages. The Sultan Speaks is the first study of English historical plays about the Turks in relation to their sources and analogues, including histories originating in Greek, Arabic, and Turkish. Drawing on Bakhtins concept of the dialogic and on narrative theory, McJannet traces the transmission of these eastern sources and analyzes Richard Knolless citation of the Turks own chronicles, the historiographic equivalent of letting the sultan speak. She demonstrates that while the historians increasingly contain the sultans words with adverse authorial commentary, playwrights such as Marlowe and Fulke Greville use both dialogue and commentary to enhance the sultans stature and to mitigate his negative acts. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Hardcover. Bookseller Inventory # 9781403974266

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Book Description Palgrave USA, United States, 2006. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 2006 ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. The first study of English historical plays about the Turks, using works in Greek, Arabic, and Turkish. Drawing on Bakhtin s concept of the dialogic, McJannet shows that instead of adverse authorial commentary playwrights such as Marlowe and Fulke Greville use dialogue and commentary to enhance the sultan s stature and mitigate his negative acts. Bookseller Inventory # APC9781403974266

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Book Description Palgrave USA, United States, 2006. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 2006 ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.The first study of English historical plays about the Turks, using works in Greek, Arabic, and Turkish. Drawing on Bakhtin s concept of the dialogic, McJannet shows that instead of adverse authorial commentary playwrights such as Marlowe and Fulke Greville use dialogue and commentary to enhance the sultan s stature and mitigate his negative acts. Bookseller Inventory # APC9781403974266

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