Georg August Wallin: Skrifter. Band 1 [Writings. Volume 1]

2 December 2010 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Skrifter. Band 1: Studieåren och resan till Alexandria
[Writings. Vol. 1: Studies and the journey to Alexandria]
Utg. [Edited by] av Kaj Öhrnberg & Patricia Berg & Kira Pihlflyckt
Helsinki: Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland, 2010. 455 p., ill.
ISBN 978-951-583-189-7
ISBN 978-91-7353-371-3 (Bokförlaget Atlantis, Stockholm, 2010)
€ 43, hardback

This is the first volume of a planned six-volume critical edition of the writings of Finnish Arabic scholar Georg August Wallin (1811–1852). The main material for the first volume consists of full text of Wallin’s travel diaries and letters from the years 1831–1843. The Arabic texts are accompanied by parallel Swedish translations. The preface contains an overview of the phases of Wallin’s life and the schools of Orientalism and Rousseau which influenced his work. Wallin’s seven-year research journey to the Middle East, and particularly his crossing of the northern Arabian peninsula as the first Western researcher to do so, brought Wallin great international acclaim. Wallin was the first researcher to record the poetry and study the dialects of the desert Bedouin. He is particularly well known for his visits to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, forbidden to non-Muslims, and to the women’s quarters in their harems.

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