Lives of the Great Languages: Arabic and Latin in the Medieval Mediterranean

Author:   Karla Mallette
Publisher:   The University of Chicago Press
ISBN:  

9780226796062


Pages:   264
Publication Date:   17 September 2021
Format:   Paperback
Availability:   In Print   Availability explained
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Lives of the Great Languages: Arabic and Latin in the Medieval Mediterranean


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Overview

The story of how Latin and Arabic spread across the Mediterranean to create a cosmopolitan world of letters. In this ambitious book, Karla Mallette studies the nature and behaviors of the medieval cosmopolitan languages of learning-classical Arabic and medieval Latin-as they crossed the Mediterranean. Through anecdotes of relationships among writers, compilers, translators, commentators, and copyists, Mallette tells a complex story about the transmission of knowledge in the period before the emergence of a national language system in the late Middle Ages and early modernity. Mallette shows how the elite languages of learning and culture were only tenuously related to the languages of everyday life. These languages took years of study to master, marking the passage from intellectual childhood to maturity. In a coda to the book, Mallette speculates on the afterlife of cosmopolitan languages in the twenty-first century, the perils of monolingualism, and the ethics of language choice. The book offers insight for anyone interested in rethinking linguistic and literary tradition, the transmission of ideas, and cultural expression in an increasingly multilingual world.

Full Product Details

Author:   Karla Mallette
Publisher:   The University of Chicago Press
Imprint:   University of Chicago Press
ISBN:  

9780226796062


ISBN 10:   022679606
Pages:   264
Publication Date:   17 September 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  General
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   In Print   Availability explained
This item will be ordered in for you from one of our suppliers. Upon receipt, we will promptly dispatch it out to you. For in store availability, please contact us.

Table of Contents

Part I: Group Portrait with Language Chapter 1: A Poetics of the Cosmopolitan Language Chapter 2: My Tongue Chapter 3: A Cat May Look at a King Part II: Space, Place, and the Cosmopolitan Language Chapter 4: Territory / Frontiers / Routes Chapter 5: Tracks Chapter 6: Tribal Rugs Part III: Translation and Time Chapter 7: The Soul of a New Language Chapter 8: On First Looking into Matta's Aristotle Chapter 9: I Became a Fable Chapter 10: A Spy in the House of Language Part IV: Beyond the Cosmopolitan Language Chapter 11: Silence Chapter 12: The Shadow of Latinity Chapter 13: Life Writing Acknowledgments Notes Bibliography Index

Reviews

Lives of the Great Languages is a keenly original and challenging intervention in the discussion of the life and death of languages. Anyone interested in the history of Arabic language and culture will find it informative and insightful. It is what we need in order to rethink the national and monolingual frame through which we discuss languages, literary traditions, and cultural expressions. --Wen-chin Ouyang, University of London


Author Information

Karla Mallette is professor of Mediterranean studies in the Department of Middle East Studies and professor of Italian in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Michigan. She is the author of European Modernity and the Arab Mediterranean and The Kingdom of Sicily, 1100-1250: A Literary History.

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