Goethe and the Poets of Arabia

Goethe and the Poets of Arabia

Katharina Mommsen

Translated by Michael M. Metzger

Hardback
$90.00

Camden House

Overview

Overview

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 the grounds 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.

Details

August 2014
508 pages
9x6 in
Studies in German Literature Linguistics and Culture
ISBN: 9781571139085
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Camden House
BIC DSC, 1DFG, 2AB, 3JH
BISAC LIT004170, LIT004220, POE013000
Share on Facebook   Share on Twitter   Pin it   Share by Email

Related Titles

Table of Contents

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

Reviews

(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. JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN STUDIES (Paul Bishop)

Also by Author


Also in Series