I have volume 1 of Brockelmann’s Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur (2nd ed. 1941) on order via my library. But a correspondent sent me an interesting word document yesterday. He’d downloaded volume 1 of the 1898 first edition, run it through some OCR, and then run the output through Google Translate. The .doc file contained the result, which was really rather interesting, and by no means useless.
Last night I also downloaded the PDF, and I ran Finereader 10 against it during the night. The results were not too bad, although I gather that quotations may not be handled that well. The PDF resolution is not that great, unfortunately. Footnotes tended to be handled rather badly. I started correcting the OCR of the main text, but had to go away unexpectedly, which prevented further progress. But I will do more next week, if Adam’s curse permits.
While I was hunting for PDF’s of Brockelmann, I found another interesting item, Nicholson’s 1907 book, A literary history of the Arabs. This looked interesting enough that I ordered a version on paper from Amazon. We have to ignore the early chapters, dedicated to pre-islamic material — at least, that isn’t what I want to read about — but it gets quite interesting from the Ummayad period on. Something I can scribble on is what I need.
I’m still cursing Brill for the price they place on Brockelmann’s second edition. A thousand dollars, for heaven’s sake, for a thousand page paperback!?!
Let’s see what kind of a grasp of Arabic literature I can get.