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Ideal and real spaces of Ottoman Imagination : continuity and Change in Ottoman Rituals of Poetry (Istanbul, 1453-1730)

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2004
Çalış, Bahar Deniz
Ottoman poerty comprised different genres, each reflecting an attitude towards Ottoman social order, gave rise to ritualized practices. Gazel poetry, performed in gardens, was an expression of Ottoman Orthodox society. Sehrengiz, performed in city spaces, was an expression of heterodox groups following after the ideals of the 13th c. philosopher Ibn al'Arabi who proposed a theory of "creative imagination" and a three tiered definition of space: the ideal, the real, and the intermediary. In gazel rituals, Ottoman orthodox society reasserted the primacy of group over the individual in ideal and real garden spaces. In Sehrengiz rituals, on the contrary, marginal groups from the early 16th c. to the early 18th c. emphasized the auonomy of individal self and aimed at reconciling orthodox and heterodox worlds, and thus their spaces and inhabitants in ideal spaces of sufi imagination and real spaces of the city. In the early 18th c. liminal expressions of these marginal groups gave rise to new urban rituals adopted by the Ottoman court society and expressed in the poetry of Nedim. owever, this cultural revolution of the Otoman court came to an end with theevents of 1730, marking a turning point in the modernization of Ottoman culture that had its roots in the early 16th c. as a marginal protest movement and pursued itself afterwards until the early 18th c. as a movement of urban space reform.