"3 It has chimed with the accounts of other European scholars in their Turkish exile, that their removal from the worlds of learning was both physical and bibliographical.4 It has enhanced Edward Said s intuition that Auerbach himself showed up in Istanbul armed only with a personal library and a prodigious memory5 And, for my own work on Auerbach and migr philology, it has provoked a reflection on the nature of the philological imagination itself: an imagination carved out of the memories of libraries and learning, an imagination resonant not only with the historical reality of the ausgewandert y but with the literary legacy of Shakespeares Prospero: "Me, poor man! - my library / Was dukedom large enough. The information Konuk gathers on the libraries, bookstores, and European literary circles of wartime Istanbul undermines Auerbachs assertion that Mimesis owed its genesis to the lack of a rich and specialized library' Instead, we should take Auerbachs remarks not as a statement of archival fact but as a rhetorical gesture.
Auerbach’s Shakespeare Seth Lerer I n the epilogue to his great work of literary criticism, Mimesis, Erich Auerbach reflects on the lack of European books and library sup- port for his project. A scholar of Romance languages and literatures, Auerbach had been compelled to leave his post at the University of Mar- burg because of the growing nazification of the German universities. He had been declared a “full Jew” in October 1935, and his only recourse was to emigrate. German academics had been trickling in to Istanbul, and that city’s university had welcomed émigré scholars, not lea
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