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Carl Brockelmann

The present English translation reproduces the original German of Carl Brockelmann’s Geschichte der Arabischen Litteratur (GAL) as accurately as possible. In the interest of user-friendliness the following emendations have been made in the translation: Personal names are written out in full, except b. for ibn; Brockelmann’s transliteration of Arabic has been adapted to comply with modern standards for English-language publications; modern English equivalents are given for place names, e.g. Damascus, Cairo, Jerusalem, etc.; several erroneous dates have been corrected, and the page references to the two German editions have been retained in the margin, except in the Supplement volumes, where new references to the first two English volumes have been inserted.

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Regula Forster

Wissensvermittlung im Gespräch ist die erste Monographie über die Verwendung der Dialogform in der arabischen Literatur. Regula Forster untersucht dazu ein umfangreiches Korpus klassisch-arabischer Dialoge ganz unterschiedlichen Inhalts (Religion, Jurisprudenz, Alchemie, Geschichte etc.) aus der Zeit zwischen dem 8. und der Mitte des 11. Jahrhunderts. Sie zeigt auf, dass arabische Dialoge nicht einfach als dialogisierte Abhandlungen zu verstehen sind. Vielmehr erschaffen Dialoge eigene literarische Universen, indem sie Figuren in Zeit und Raum agieren lassen und spezifische Formen der Argumentation und Textstrukturierung verwenden. Durch die spezifische literarische Form des wissensvermittelnden Dialogs wird auch der Inhalt der Texte gelenkt.

This is the first book-length study about the usage of the form of literary dialogue in Arabic literature. Regula Forster studies an extensive corpus of Classical Arabic didactic dialogues on very different subjects (religion, jurisprudence, alchemy, history, etc.) from the 8th to the mid-11th centuries.
She shows that Arabic dialogues are by no means dialogised treatises. Rather, they create a literary universe of their own. In this universe, figures are shown to be acting and speaking in time and space. Therefore, the dialogues use specific forms of argumentation and structuring. Through the use of the literary form of dialogue the content of these texts is shaped and the knowledge presented channelled.