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Mozart & Orientalism

by Ibn Warraq (November 2009)


Western art has, in the words of Roger Scruton, "continuously ventured into spiritual territory that has no place on the Christian map," and has done so with generosity, tolerance, affection, and a noble vision of universal humanity. Literature and music, as much as painting and architecture, has acknowledged other civilizations and other peoples, and embraced them as equals, and sometimes treated them as superior souls from whom the West could learn. In her biography of Mozart as a dramatist, Brigid Brophy has a dazzling chapter on the Exotic in Eighteenth century art, reminding us of Western man's ventures "to unpath'd waters, undreamed shores:" China, Turkey, Persia, Babylon, Egypt, Abyssinia, South America, India, even outer space.[1]  more>>>