Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Atheism in the Medieval Islamic and European World: The Influence of Persian and Arabic Ideas and Doubt and Scepticism on Medieval European Literary Thought

Academic journal article Medium Aevum

Atheism in the Medieval Islamic and European World: The Influence of Persian and Arabic Ideas and Doubt and Scepticism on Medieval European Literary Thought

Article excerpt

Fatemah Chehtegosha.A"zina.t,Atheism in the Medieval Islamic and European World· The Influence of Persian and Arabic Ideas of Doubt and Scepticism on Medieval European Literary Thought (Bethesda, Md: Ibex Publishers, 2008). 271 pp. ISBN 10-1-5 88 14-05 1-2. $80.00. This book starts from the contention framed by Zenker in 1 91 o but much extended in Pierre Gallais 's Tristan et Iseut et son modèle persan, that the basis of the Roman de Tristan is the Persian Vis and Ramin; its ambitious aim overall, says Fatemah Chehregosha Azinfar, is to explore 'the effects that the "rediscovery" of Aristotle's philosophical work had on the creation and development of European literary texts written from the tenth to the fifteenth centuries' (p. 14). In her first chapter, on A Thousand and One Nights, she argues that there its structure has 'a strong skeptical tone' (p. 39); succeeding chapters address some of the most important works of medieval literature, the Chanson de Roland, Dante's Divine Comedy, the Pearl poem, and Chaucer's House of Fame, all of which, says the author, are marked by this same ironic scepticism (for which she finds analogies, variously, in Habermas, Foucault, Suleiman, Todorov, Freud . …

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