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In: Philological Encounters
In: Philological Encounters
Georg Brandes (1842-1927) was one of the leading literary critics in Europe of his time. His Main Currents of Nineteenth Century Literature (1872-1890) was a foundational text to the field of comparative literature and extolled by Thomas Mann as the “Bible of the young intellectual Europe at the turn of the century.” Georg Brandes eventually developed into a truly global public intellectual, living by his pen and public lectures. On the eve of World War I, he was one of the most sought-after commentators, vigorously opposing all conflicting factions. This book seeks to understand Brandes’ trajectory, to evaluate Brandes’ significance for current discussions of literary criticism and public engagement, and to introduce Brandes to an international audience. It consists of 15 original chapters commissioned from experts in the field.
Volume Editors: and
Christian-Muslim Relations, a Bibliographical History 21 (CMR 21), covering South-western Europe in the period 1800-1914, is a further volume in a general history of relations between the two faiths from the 7th century to the early 20th century. It comprises a series of introductory essays and the main body of detailed entries. These treat all the works, surviving or lost, that have been recorded. They provide biographical details of the authors, descriptions and assessments of the works themselves, and complete accounts of manuscripts, editions, translations and studies. The result of collaboration between numerous new and established scholars, CMR 21, along with the other volumes in this series, is intended as a fundamental tool for research in Christian-Muslim relations.

Section Editors: Ines Aščerić-Todd, Clinton Bennett, Luis F. Bernabé Pons, Jaco Beyers, Emanuele Colombo, Lejla Demiri, Martha T. Frederiks, David D. Grafton, Stanisław Grodź, Alan M. Guenther, Vincenzo Lavenia, Arely Medina, Diego Melo Carrasco, Alain Messaoudi, Gordon Nickel, Claire Norton, Reza Pourjavady, Douglas Pratt, Charles Ramsey, Peter Riddell, Umar Ryad, Cornelia Soldat, Charles Tieszen, Carsten Walbiner, Catherina Wenzel.
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In: Philological Encounters
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Abstract

This article on the place of the Qurʾān and Islamic theology in Ḥayy ibn Yaqẓān constitutes a study in textual citation and excision articulated in two main parts. The first part of the article studies the interconnections between philosophy and theology in Ibn Ṭufayl’s (d. 581/1185) life and the references to the Qurʾān and to Islamic theology in his Risālat Ḥayy ibn Yaqẓān. In the second part, I track the engagement with the Qurʾān and Islamic theology in the early-modern Latin and English variants of the tale. The article provides a detailed study of the Qurʾanic passages in translation, and reflects on practices of citation, excision and significant paratextual reorganisations. The article argues that the case is less one where the Qurʾān and Islamic theology are excised from the tale and vanish from view, than one where the tale is ‘de-Islamised’ so that it can serve intra-Christian and orientalist interests. The issue resides in making the Qurʾān and Islam epistemically dispensable and in disabling them as hermeneutic interlocutors to be reckoned with in a theological and philosophical debate.

In: Philological Encounters

Abstract

In this Philological Conversation, Dilip M. Menon dwells on the questions of how to think concepts and theorize from the Global South and on writing history beyond the Eurocentric, colonial, nationalist, and terrestrial. We discuss the political and epistemic implications and consequences of such urgent tasks. Dilip M. Menon speaks about his affinities with Edward Said, Mikhail Bakhtin, and Walter Benjamin, among others, and refects on the themes of coloniality of knowledge, postcoloniality, decoloniality, oceanic history, and the idea of paracoloniality. He links his earlier works to his recent decolonial intellectual projects and discusses his intellectual formation and his practice as a historian and social theorist. Put together via e-mail exchanges, this conversation is a culmination of several in-person conversations that took place in Beirut, Delhi and Berlin. One only hopes for many more to come.

In: Philological Encounters

Abstract

There is not much by way of literary theory for kakawin—the classical literature of Java. This article proposes a semiotic model for the study of belletristic texts in Old Javanese: one that is based on the study of literary commonplaces that we have called kawi-samayas. Given the way the mental world of kakawin is deeply enmeshed with the external, natural world, we focus on the ecoliterary treatment of Kapat, the fourth month in the Javanese calendar. By studying the poetic elaboration of motifs related to Kapat in several kakawin texts, beginning with Monaguṇa’s Sumanasāntaka, we discuss the notions of poetic memory and literary tradition. The idea of poetic memory also helps in chalking out the active role of literary audiences in shaping the allusive and reflexive aesthetics of kakawin literature.

In: Philological Encounters
Author:

Abstract

This article examines Georg Brandes’ multi-faceted position within the German-speaking world, where he quickly became a topic of discussion in the intellectual milieus. The article functions as a kaleidoscope, through which the ambivalent perceptions of Brandes as a literary historian, a mediator, a critic and a networker can be seen. It examines how the German-speaking intellectual milieus, especially in Austria, viewed the Danish thinker. Brandes was an outstanding networker, with an immense circle of friends and acquaintances with whom he corresponded. Letters, accounts and articles about Brandes provide insight into his role as an ambivalent intellectual public figure and the mixed reception of his work and personality, which ranged from deification to rejection.

In: Georg Brandes
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Abstract

This essay sketches out the central tension in the thought and work of the mature Brandes, that is after his fateful encounter with Nietzsche at the end of the 1880s. On the one hand, Brandes’ transition from politically/ideologically driven comparative literary study toward the long series of “great men” monographs amounts to a decisive self-reinvention, a turn away from his early literary radicalism toward the aristocratic radicalism of his later years. And yet on the other, any suggestion that Brandes abandoned political engagement is belied by the presence of his large corpus of writings on human rights issues, from the oppressed national minorities of Eurasia to the far more numerous subjects of colonialism abroad.

In: Georg Brandes