Contents A Personal Note 1. Don t Follow the Poets! The Quran and Poetry 2. Revolt against God Attar and Suffering 3. World without God Shakespeare and Man 4. Heroic Weakness Lessing and Terror 5. God Breathing Goethe and Religion 6. Filth of My Soul Kleist and Love 7. The Truth of Theatre The Shiite Passion Play and Alienation 8. Liberate Bayreuth! Wagner and Empathy 9. Swimming in the Afternoon Kafka and Germany 10. The Purpose of Literature Hedayat and Kafka 11. For Europe Zweig and the Borders 12. In Defence of the Glass Bead Game Hesse and Decadence 13. The Violence of Compassion Arendt and Revolution 14. Tilting at Windmills Mosebach and the Novel 15. One God, One Wife, One Cheese Golshiri and Friendship 16. Chant the Quran Singingly Neuwirth and Literalist Orthodoxy Appendix On the 65th Anniversary of the Promulgation of the German Constitution Speech to the Bundestag, Berlin, May 23, 2014 On Receiving the Peace Prize of the German Publishers Association Speech in St Paul s Church, Frankfurt am Main, October 18, 2015 About the Text Index
Navid Kermani is a writer and Islamic scholar who lives in Cologne, Germany. He has received numerous accolades for his literary and academic work, including the 2015 Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, Germany's most prestigious cultural award.