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Die Rifāʽīya aus Damaskus

Eine Privatbibliothek im osmanischen Syrien und ihr kulturelles Umfeld

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Boris Liebrenz

In Die Rifāʽīya spürt Boris Liebrenz der Buchkultur des Osmanischen Syrien (16. - 19. Jahrhundert) durch den Fokus der einzig überlebenden Privatbibliothek der Epoche nach. Er fragt nach der Produktion und Transmission von Wissen sowie dem sozialen Hintergrund der Leserschaft im Zeitalter der Handschrift. Studien der arabischen Bibliotheksgeschichte haben oft nur das Mittelalter in den Blick genommen und basierten fast ausschließlich auf literarischen Quellen. Dies ist die erste Monographie, die eine einzige Region während der Osmanischen Periode in den Fokus nimmt und deren auf uns gekommene Handschriften und Notizen ihrer Leser und Besitzer systematisch als dokumentarische Quelle benutzt. So erhellt sie die materiellen, rechtlichen und sozialen Voraussetzungen von Buchbesitz und Lesepraxis.

In Die Rifāʽīya Boris Liebrenz explores the book culture of Ottoman Syria (16th to 19th century), using the only surviving Damascene private library of the time as a vantage point. He asks about the production and transmission of knowledge as well as the social background of the reading audience in a manuscript age.
Scholarship on Arabic libraries has often focussed on the medieval period and relied nearly exclusively on literary accounts. This is the first book-length study that focuses on a single region in the Ottoman period and systematically uses the vast number of surviving manuscripts as a documentary source by means of the notes left by their readers and possessors. Thus, it sheds light on the material, juridical, and social basis of book-ownership and reading.

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Edited by Christoph Ehland and Cornelia Wächter

Scholars of the middlebrow have demonstrated that the preferences and choices of both women writers and women readers have suffered considerably from the dismissive attitude of earlier critics. George Eliot’s famous attack on ‘Silly Novels by Lady Novelists’ set the tone for the long tradition of gendered disputes over the literary merit of works of fiction – a controversy which eventually coalesced with a class-based hegemony of taste in the so-called Battle of the Brows.

The new research presented in this volume demonstrates that this gendered inflection of the critical debate is not only one-sided but tends to obfuscate the significance the middlebrow literary spectrum had for the wider dissemination of new concepts of gender. By exploring the scope of middlebrow media culture between 1890 and 1945, from household magazines to popular novels, the essays in this volume give evidence of the relative proximity that existed between middlebrow writers and the avant-garde in their concern for gender issues.

Contributors: Nicola Bishop, Elke D’hoker, Petra Dierkes-Thrun, Stephanie Eggermont, Christoph Ehland, Wendy Gan, Emma Grundy Haigh, Kate Macdonald, Louise McDonald, Tara MacDonald, Isobel Maddison, Ann Rea, Cornelia Wächter, Alice Wood

1 Die Bibliothek

Ihre Geschichte und Inhalte

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Boris Liebrenz

2 Die Umwelt der Rifāʿīya

Der Kontext arabischer Bibliotheken und Buchproduktion in der osmanischen Periode

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Boris Liebrenz