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Jewish Bodies And Renaissance Melancholy: Culture And The City In Italy And The Ottoman Empire

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Chapter Summary

In various genres of medieval and Renaissance writings, the concepts of body and soul were often paired with a third idea, namely that of exile. in the Jewish networks in Italy and the Ottoman Empire the body was not divorced from the soul nor was it seen outside the city. The concept of melancholy unites various strands of such perspectives. Amatus Lusitanus focuses on the combination of melancholy and canine appetite caused by atrabilis. He subverts certain presuppositions about the city in the literature on the sixteenth century. Melancholy and exile may be linked by common sense. But the poetic/literary link between exile and creation/composition is as ancient as the link between alienation from place and alienation from self. But alienation from self in the sixteenth-century tradition, which, as we now know, leads to the creation of the madman, melancholic Quixote means also that melancholy madness leads to creativity.

Keywords: alienation from place; alienation from self; Amatus Lusitanus; Jewish bodies; medieval writings; Ottoman Empire; Renaissance melancholy; Renaissance writings

10.1163/ej.9789004167186.i-490.11
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