Listen to the Crying: A Nineteenth-Century Dalmatian Lament and Gingrich's Frontier Orientalism

Friday, January 7, 2011: 3:30 PM
Room 204 (Hynes Convention Center)
Dominique K. Reill , University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL
In 1844, a Dalmatian journalist and historian, Vincenzo Solitro,

published a collection of primary source documents coupled with his
commentary to shed light on the local histories of those living along
the fluctuating borders of the Venetian and Ottoman Empires in the
early modern period. Solitro's selections and observations emphasized
the violence and desperation to which families living in the hillsides

of Bosnia and Dalmatia had been inured. His history was one of an
"exchange of hatreds and insults," where often the "Turk" was
described as the more hateful and the more insulting. But beyond the
common orientalist tropes of the "Turk" as barbaric, vengeful,
bloodthirsty, sexually-depraved and uncivilized, Solitro's commentary

abounds with moments of empathy. "Listen to the crying," he commanded
his readers. "Listen to the crying and the dying: Turks and Dalmatians
who crouch, take aim, and kill." This paper will examine and
contextualize the tense relationship within Solitro's text between historical empathy for the Muslim Other and "frontier orientalism."

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