Goethe and the Poets of Arabia
Title Details

508 Pages

22.8 x 15.2 cm

Series: Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture

Imprint: Camden House

Goethe and the Poets of Arabia

by Katharina Mommsen

Translated by Michael Metzger

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Reviews
A comprehensive account of Goethe's relationship to Arabian culture, mediated by his interest in certain poets and texts and by his highly nuanced attitude toward Islam.
Abundant evidence bears witness to Johann Wolfgang Goethe's lifelong predilection for the literature, religion, and culture of ancient Arabia. Scholars have hardly yet touched upon Goethe's relationship to Arabic literature. His remarkable West-östlicher Divan suggested that his interest in the "Orient" was limited to the Persian poet Hafez, his chief model for the collection, and to the culture of Persia. Yet significant aspects of this work and others stem from pre-Islamic and Islamic traditions of Arabian literature.
This study examines comprehensively Goethe's relationship to Arabian culture, mediated primarily by his interest in certain poets and texts and by his highly nuanced attitude toward Muhammad, the Qur'an, and Islam. Katharina Mommsen has explored exhaustively Goethe's opinions about Arab poets and their sources, the numerous traces of Arabic poetry that entered his works, and thegrounds for his ambivalent affinity for Islam and its Prophet. Extensive textual evidence reveals how throughout his life Goethe's temperament determined his interest in particular Arabian poets and was in turn modulated by them.The study also opens new perspectives on Goethe's biography, especially in the early nineteenth century when he was writing the Divan.

Katharina Mommsen's studies of Goethe, including Goethe und die Moallakat, Goethe und 1001 Nacht, and numerous articles on Goethe and Islam, are recognized internationally. She is Professor Emerita of German at Stanford University. Michael M. Metzger is Professor Emeritus of German at the University at Buffalo.
Translator's Preface
Foreword
List of Abbreviations
Introduction
Pre-Islamic Bedouin Poetry
Islam
Living Islam
Islam in the West-Eastern Divan
Dissent from Islam in the West-Eastern Divan
Poets of the Islamic Period
Arabian Proverbs
Appendix of Goethe's Poems in the Original German
Notes
Bibliography
Index of Persons
Index of Subjects
"Goethe and the Poets of Arabia [is] Mommsen's magnum opus . . . . now rendered into fine, readable and accurate English by Michael M. Metzger. . . . [T]he study's greatest value lies . . . in its analytical contribution -- one that is still fresh and pertinent twenty-five years after the original publication in German." James Hodkinson, GERMAN QUARTERLY
"[T]his remains a book that -- despite (or because of) the specificity of its focus, and in the light of world politics post-2001 and of growing Islamophobia, not least in Germany itself -- has a significant contribution to make, over and beyond the narrow world of Germanistik, to intercultural awareness and understanding." Paul Bishop, JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN STUDIES
"This English translation of Mommsen's exhaustive study, published in German in 1988, brings her multifaceted treatment of the influence of Arabian literature on Goethe's works to a wide audience. In the hands of its excellent translator, the text offers a wealth of material . . . . This is an important contribution on a fascinating subject." CHOICE

Hardcover

9781571139085

August 2014

Buy

£75.00 / $90.00

Shipping Options

Buy

Buy

Purchasing options are not available in this country.

Ebook (EPDF)

9781782043256

August 2014

Buy

£19.99 / $24.99

Shipping Options

Buy

Buy

Purchasing options are not available in this country.

Title Details

508 Pages

2.28 x 1.52 cm

Series: Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture

Imprint: Camden House