The German Orientalist School Vis-à-vis the History of Arabic Literature: Carle Brockelmann as a Locus Classicus
Keywords:Orientalism, Orientalist, Arabic literature, Islamic languages, Arab writers
It is an incontestable fact and incontrovertible truism that Orientalism- a term deployed to signify a socio-political trend signifying intellectual enquiry and the academic study of Eastern cultures by the Western intelligentsia – is one of the sources of information about Islam and Muslims. This is a culmination of gargantuan endeavours lent Arab autochthonous patrimony; whether the fragments scribbled in pure Arabic; or those documented in other Asian or African languages; or other Islamic languages such as Persia, Urdu and Turkish; in terms of preservation, study, editing, publication, or indexing. It would be pertinent here to mention the tremendous efforts the Muslims have made to follow what the Westerners have accomplished. The issue of Orientalism has polarized the Arab writers into two extremes: the Revolutionary, obsessed with an unbridled, enthusiastic penchant and infatuated with an irrational hallucinatory predilection to the level of deference and obsequiousness; and the Neo-conservative who discern it as a reprehensible scourge and pestilential plague that should not be embraced at all; not even with a long pole. Between these extremes, we have yet another constellation that is liberal, moderate and detached in its assessment of any matter with a scintilla of nexus to Orientalism. While identifying ourselves and pitching our tent with this coterie, we hereby present Carle Brockelmann, an iconic connoisseur and illustrious belletrist from German mise-en-scene (based on the application of the theory of ‘Aqiq’s taxonomy of Orientalists according to geographical cleavage as propounded in his Encyclopedia christened al-Istishraq wa ‘l-Mustashriqun ) and dissect through analytical framework his blazing trail feat in the stratosphere of History of Arabic Literature.
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