FORKE, Ernst Conrad Alfred. Schöningen/Kr. Helmstedt (Braunschweig) 12.1.1867 — Hamburg 9.7.1944. German Sinologist. Professor in Hamburg. Son of Wilhelm F., merchant and steam mill owner, and Minna Tenne. After school in Magdeburg, studies of law at Genève and Berlin. Dr. iuris 1890 Rostock. At the same time also studied Chinese at Seminar Orient. Sprachen in Berlin, in 1890 went to China as an interpreter of foreign ministry. Working at German embassy in Peking he became acquainted with —> Chavannes. In 1903 succeeded his teacher —> Arendt as Professor of Chinese at Orient. Seminar in Berlin. In 1914-18 visiting Professor at Berkeley. From 1923 Professor of Chinese (Agassiz Professor of Oriental Languages and Literature, O. Franke’s successor) at Hamburg. In 1935 retired. Hon. Ph.D. Leipzig. AF was mainly interested in Chinese philosophy, and as an individualist himself despised the Confucian orthodoxy and concentrated on heretics like Mozi. Little before his death wrote a comparison of Chinese and Indian philosophy. Married 1905 with Clara Forke (1867– 1950), one daughter.
Publications: wrote much on Sinology, most important books being: The World Conception of the Chinese. 1925; Die Gedankenwelt des chinesischen Kulturkreises. 1927; Geschichte der Chinesischen Philosophie. 1-3. Hamburg 1927-38; translated Wang Chung’s Lun-heng. 1907, and Mozi (as Moh Tih) 1922.
– Die indischen Märchen und ihre Bedeutung für die vergleichende Märchenforschung. B. 1911.
– “Chinesische und indische Philosophie”, ZDMG 98, 1944, 195-237.
– Chinesische Dramen der Yüan-Dynastie. Zehn nachgelassene Übersetzungen. Hrsg. und eingeleitet von M. Glimm. 635 p. Sinologica Coloniensia 6. Wb. 1978.
Sources: *E. Erkes, Art.As. 9, 1946, 148f.; H. Franke, N.D.B. 6, 1961, 300; E. Haenisch, ZDMG 99, 1945-49, 4-6; briefly German Wikipedia.