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“Gypsies” in European Literature and CultureBohemian Philosophers

“Gypsies” in European Literature and Culture: Bohemian Philosophers [The European Gypsy stereotype is a monstrous self-contradiction.2 Idealized, the Gypsy is an innocent child of the universe leading a carefree life under the open sky, a living symbol of freedom in nature. Vilified, the same Gypsy becomes a primitive who has failed to rise out of nature: a lying, thieving, dirty, work-shy, promiscuous savage who abducts children and even engages in cannibalism. Both caricatures identify Gypsies with nature, conceived as a realm of antisocial self-interest irrevocably at odds with civilization. To understand the political implications of the link between the Gypsy and nature, it is necessary to recognize the role that nature plays in post-Enlightenment ideology. Between 1651, when Thomas Hobbes published the English version of Leviathan, and 1874, the year of the utilitarian philosopher John Stuart Mill’s posthumous essay “Nature,” European political thought detached itself from religion and was placed on a material footing. Secular nature became the new God: at once a source of terrible negative sanctions and a giver of consolation. In political theory, the negative image dominated.] http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png

“Gypsies” in European Literature and CultureBohemian Philosophers

Editors: Glajar, Valentina; Radulescu, Domnica

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Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright
© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Nature America Inc. 2008
ISBN
978-1-349-37154-9
Pages
45 –67
DOI
10.1057/9780230611634_3
Publisher site
See Chapter on Publisher Site

Abstract

[The European Gypsy stereotype is a monstrous self-contradiction.2 Idealized, the Gypsy is an innocent child of the universe leading a carefree life under the open sky, a living symbol of freedom in nature. Vilified, the same Gypsy becomes a primitive who has failed to rise out of nature: a lying, thieving, dirty, work-shy, promiscuous savage who abducts children and even engages in cannibalism. Both caricatures identify Gypsies with nature, conceived as a realm of antisocial self-interest irrevocably at odds with civilization. To understand the political implications of the link between the Gypsy and nature, it is necessary to recognize the role that nature plays in post-Enlightenment ideology. Between 1651, when Thomas Hobbes published the English version of Leviathan, and 1874, the year of the utilitarian philosopher John Stuart Mill’s posthumous essay “Nature,” European political thought detached itself from religion and was placed on a material footing. Secular nature became the new God: at once a source of terrible negative sanctions and a giver of consolation. In political theory, the negative image dominated.]

Published: Oct 14, 2015

Keywords: Racist Attitude; European Literature; Settle Population; Roma Child; Positive Stereotype

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