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  • 1 University Olomouc Univerzitni, 3, 771 80 Olomouc, Czech Republic
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The Czechs have limited personal experience with foreign non-European cultures, people of different appearances and other religions. Apart from the not always latent xenophobic attitude towards “other” cultures, Czechs are known to have an almost paranoid fear of the decisions of larger nations. These are two complementary factors that determine the cultural profile of the Czech nation. Czech history, rich in moments and periods of the nation's failure, its humiliation and frustration, provides numerous examples serving to explain this situation. Everything foreign, new and unknown attracts an audience and at the same time repels it. This study demonstrates, using several examples from Czech music, how ambivalent the perception of “the other” can be: as something that fascinates but at the same time evokes fear and a feeling of threat. This experience with the ambivalent meaning of “the other” is surely not only characteristic of Czechs. Other nations also view “the other” as a projection wall of their desires and fantasies as well as fears. One can find similar motifs in other art works of a different provenience. In the case of small nations, however, these themes can be accentuated by the influence of particular historical situations and viewed from the perspective of established interpretations.