The Beauty We Fear: The Great Mosques of the World

The Beauty We Fear: The Great Mosques of the World

by G. Roger Denson
     
 

THE BEAUTY WE FEAR: THE GREAT MOSQUES OF THE WORLD is a concise, book-length essay written to counter the stereotype that many Americans and Europeans carry in their minds of the mosque as breeding ground for terror. To confront the negative myths about Islam and the mosque flooding the West, the author peruses three centuries of writing by Western Orientalist authors…  See more details below

Overview

THE BEAUTY WE FEAR: THE GREAT MOSQUES OF THE WORLD is a concise, book-length essay written to counter the stereotype that many Americans and Europeans carry in their minds of the mosque as breeding ground for terror. To confront the negative myths about Islam and the mosque flooding the West, the author peruses three centuries of writing by Western Orientalist authors whose direct experience with the great mosques led them to regard Islam, or at least its mosques, with awe. In such writing we are told that the true "terror" is to be found not in the dangers that Islamic extremists pose to Western civilization, but in the beauty that emanates from Islam's architectural splendors as a reflection of the harmony and contemplation filling the Muslim spirit with peace. But Denson doesn't end with the lofty ruminations of the Western convert to Islamic beauty. He sees to it that we are brought down to earth by the equilibrium of secular Muslims writers whose daily experience of mosques, conjoined with the Western writers inured to their romance and spectacle, testifies that whether the great mosques elicit our fear, awe, or indifference, in the end these magnificent structures are no less the receptacles of our own projected emotions and knowledge than any other public edifice.

The writers discussed include Lady Mary Montague, François-René Chateaubriand, Theophile Gautier, Julia Pardoe, G. K. Chesterton, Edward William Lane, Lord Byron, Naguib Mahfouz, Khaled Hosseini, Salman Rushdie, Shahrnush Parsipur, Mark Twain, Edith Wharton, Paul Bowles, Malcolm X, and Edward Said.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940016697680
Publisher:
Oracle Books
Publication date:
04/20/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
23 MB
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This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

G. Roger Denson (b. 1956) is best known for his cultural criticism on Huffington Post. His feature and cover articles on art and culture have appeared in Art in America; Artbyte; Arts; Duke University's Cultural Politics; Parkett (Zurich); Artscribe International (London); Flash Art (Milan); Bijutsu Techo (Tokyo); Trans>Arts,Culture,Media (Buenos Aires, Caracas, and New York); Kunstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin); Contemporanea (Turin, Italy); Tema Celeste (Syracuse, Italy); Acme Journal; M/E/A/N/I/N/G; and Journal of Contemporary Art (all New York).

He wrote the commentary for, Capacity: History, the World, and the Self in Contemporary Art and Criticism, on the criticism of Thomas McEvilley, (Routledge, 1996). Denson has written on the artists Hiroshi Sugimoto, Sigmar Polke, Andres Serrano, Sarah Charlesworth, Philip Taaffe, Pat Steir, Marilyn Minter, Reneé Green, Robert Longo, Ashley Bickerton, Nayland Blake, Tishan Hsu, Liz Larner, Gilbert and George, Barbara Ess, Robert Ryman, Dan Flavin, General Idea, Jules Olitski, Lydia Dona, Maura Sheehan, Jimmy De Sana, and Richard Artschwager. As a curator he has worked with Allan Kaprow, Cindy Sherman, Trisha Brown and Dancers, Lew Thomas, Suzanne Lacy, Joan Jonas, Steve Paxton and Dancers, Eric Fischl, Shigeko Kubato, Yvonne Rainer, Laurie Anderson, Dara Birnbaum, Gary Hill, Paul Sharits, Marina Abramovic, Douglas Dunn and Dancers, Gretchen Faust, Wolfgang Stahle, Scott and Beth B, Polly Apfelbaum, and others.

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