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Open Access 14. Remembering Fear. The Fear of Violence and the Violence of Fear in Seventeenth-Century War Memories

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14. Remembering Fear. The Fear of Violence and the Violence of Fear in Seventeenth-Century War Memories

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Chapter Summary

In Enlightenment thought, 'affects' were transformed into 'feelings' and confined within the closed and inaccessible inner space of the person. Fear could be perceived as physically powerful and violent because the inner space of the person did not qualitatively differ from external space. In the Thirty Years War and the wars against the 'Turks', autobiographers, diarists and chroniclers recalled not only the physical violence they had suffered but first and foremost the fear of this violence. This chapter argues that in order to understand the historical function of these war memories, we need to historicise the language of fear and anxiety as well as concepts of selfhood and the person. It analyses notions of the nature, causes and effects of fear and its religious and moral associations, and then examines why people wrote about fear.

Keywords: 'Turks'; fear; violence; war memories



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