Ian Almond


On his book History of Islam in German Thought: From Leibniz to Nietzsche

Cover Interview of December 20, 2009

Editor’s note

Originally, this interview ran on the Rorotoko cover page under the headline

“How truly wild, bizarre, and contradictory the attitudes towards Islam were—and sometimes are.”

We highlighted two quotes.

On the first page:

“That a thinker such as Herder could call Arabs a savage people one year, and then praise the sublimity of their poetic thought the very next, made me realize that I had to refashion my entire concept of what an author is.  How else to make any sense of such inconsistencies?”

On the second:

“The multiple responses to Islam in German thought reveal a profound polyphony in the human subject, an ideological schizophrenia which could never really make up its mind about what it thought about Islam.”