The Orient Reclaimed

What a Turk, look at him!
CM Bellman (1740-1795)

“It should be observed that the Arabs are a very poetic people.” So writes Professor HS Nyberg (1889-1974) apropos of his childhood delight at the collection of stories in The Arabian Nights. This short sentence is only one of the myriad of positive judgments the professor of Semitic languages would make about the different peoples which he devoted a large part of his life to studying: Arabs, Persians and Turks. He could describe Muslims in general as “really magnificient types in the history of the life of piety.”

HS Nyberg was without doubt one of Sweden’s greatest orientalists. His daughter Sigrid Kahle has taken his legacy on through an industrious and comprehensive authorship. It is she who has written one of the best and most easily accessible introductions to the present subject, Edward Said&rsqu...

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