Zwei „Königinnen des Mittelmeers“ im Vergleich: Triestliteratur und die Literatur Alexandrias

in Islam in der Moderne, Moderne im Islam


Both Trieste and Alexandria, the two “queens” of the Mediterranean, flourished between 1850 and 1950. Both cities were “contact zones”, attracting people from all over the Mediterranean, quite often from the same communities (Italians, Greeks, Jews, Levantines, Armenians etc.). In both cities, a literature emerged which reflects the multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and sometimes “cosmopolitan” character of the city. Italo Svevo and Claudio Magris on the one hand, Naguib Mahfouz and Edwar al-Kharrat on the other represent two or three subsequent generations having substantially contributed to our current image of Trieste and Alexandria, respectively. The uniting principle of their work is the question of identity or, rather, of multiple identities in national, ethnic, cultural, linguistic or religious terms. Within this almost infinite spectrum, the authors/narrators explore their innate being as sons of Trieste or Alexandria as “Mediterranean” cities with multiple ties (or their rejection) to the other shores of the sea. From a current perspective, however, the gap between the two literatures has widened considerably. Whereas literature from Triest has acquired a comfortable reputation as a brand of its own, literature from Alexandria appears much more vivid and varied. And yet, according to the growth of religious zeal and the spread of intolerance, it is dystopian in character and predicts an end of Alexandria as we know it.

Islam in der Moderne, Moderne im Islam

Eine Festschrift für Reinhard Schulze zum 65. Geburtstag


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