Institut für den Nahen und Mittleren Osten



Neue Publikation: Many ways of speaking about the self

Middle Eastern ego-documents in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish (14th–20th century)


Like other people Middle Easterners sometimes feel the urge to speak or write about themselves. They did and do this in letters, on the margin of books, in large autobiographical accounts, travelogues and many other genres of oral and written texts. This collection of articles explores some “ego-documents”, i.e. writings in which an ego speaks, produced in Arabic, Persian or Turkish between the 14th and the 20th century. The concept of “ego-document” is applied for the first time in a larger scale in Middle Eastern Studies, which in the past devoted much energy to often futile discussions about “Oriental individuality”. This volume, more interested in literary criticism than in the history of mentalities, may encourage fresh looks on a vast and highly varied, but under-researched branch of Middle Eastern literatures.