Still working with Brockelmann

For the last two evenings I’ve spent an hour or two working on the section in Brockelmann’s History of Arabic Literature on the biographers of Mohammed.  This will appear here once I’ve finished editing and translating it.

It’s proving quite hard work.  It’s not that Brockelmann’s prose is difficult, as that the work is very abbreviated.  The reason that I have to edit it, as well as translate it, is that a large proportion of the text is to be found in the first supplementary volume, which is itself a thousand pages long, and is only one of three volumes.  So I have to compile my text in German, from the main volume and the supplement (which preceded it), in order to work on it.

But I’m most of the way through this short section now.  Interestingly it lists English translations of some of the sources, often from British India, in places like Calcutta.  There must be a story to tell there, I would think, and I shall see if I can hunt some of these down.

5 thoughts on “Still working with Brockelmann

  1. Why has there not been an English translation for Brockelmann yet? His work is so crucial for the student of Arabic language and culture studies. I am just curious to find out why.

  2. It’s a reasonable question, I agree.

    I think the answer is that Brockelmann is a mess. It’s very hard to make sense of, because it is so full of abbreviations as well as being in German. It’s also difficult to work out what you should translate; because bits are in the 2nd edition, bits in the supplement to the first edition.

    Any idea how the Arabic translation was done? Does it have all the footnotes?

  3. Dear Roger Pearse,

    You mentioned several times that an Arabic translation of Brockelmann’s exists.

    Can I have more information on that Arabic translations (title, editor, link…)?

    Best regards,

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