SHELLEY AND THE ARABS: AN ESSAY IN COMPARATIVE LITERATURE I. INTRODUCTORY The bibliography of Arabic translations of nineteenth-century English poetry shows that more poems have been translated from Percy Bysshe Shelley than from any other English poet of the last century. For a long time he enjoyed the status of the English Romantic poet Par excellence. He exerted a considerable influence on the diction, imagery and themes of Arabic poetry between 1910 and 1950. However, the influence of Shelley on Arabic poetry is outside the intended plan of this article, which deals primarily with the growth of his reputation in the Arab East. It was from the late Victorian age that the Arab critics and poets knew their Shelley. The Victorian thesis of the dual nature of Shelley the poet was the nucleus round which the Arabs built their image of him. The thesis was perhaps first expressed by Stopford A. Brooke (1832-1916) in the "Preface" of his Poems of Sbelley, a selection pub- lished in 1880. Brooke found that Shelley's nature and work were "twofold", that he lived and thought in "two worlds": "One was the world of Mankind and its hopes, the other was the world
Journal of Arabic Literature – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1972
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