FORKE, Ernst Conrad Alfred

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 gymnasium in Magdeburg, studies of law at Geneva and Berlin. Dr. iuris 1890 Rostock. At the same time also studied Chinese at Seminar für Orientalische 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 (Agassiz Professor of Oriental Languages and Literature). From 1923 Professor of Chinese (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 he wrote a comparison of Chinese and Indian philosophy. Married 1905 Clara Forke (1867– 1950), one daughter.

Publications: Wrote much on Sinology, the most important books being: The World Conception of the Chinese: Their Astronomical, Cosmological and Physico-philosophical Speculations. 300 p. 1925; Die Gedankenwelt des chinesischen Kulturkreises. 215 p. Munich 1927; Geschichte der Chinesischen Philosophie. 1-3. Hamburg 1927-38; translated Wang Chung’s Lun-heng. 536 p. Lp. 1907-11, and Mozi(as Mê Ti des Sozialethikers und seiner Schüler philosophische Werke. 14+638 p. Berlin 1922.

Die indischen Märchen und ihre Bedeutung für die vergleichende Märchen­forschung. 77 p. B. 1911.

Katalog des Pekinger Tripitaka der Königlichen Bibliothek zu Berlin. 6+216 p. Berlin 1916.

– “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.

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