By Pierre Cachia
Assuming no prior wisdom of the topic, Arabic Literature - an outline supplies a rounded and balanced view of Arab literary creativity. 'High' literature is tested along renowned folks literature, and the classical and sleek sessions, often taken care of individually, are provided jointly. Cachia's observations are usually not subordinated to any pre-formed literary conception, yet describe and illustrate the instructions taken, in an effort to current an total photo of the sphere of relevance to the coed of literature in addition to to Arabists operating in comparable fields.
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Extra info for Arabic Literature - An Overview (Culture and Civilisation in the Middle East.)
And we dealt blows that no one tasted but he tasted death, Disgrace overtaking those who saved themselves in flight. The dust raised high above our heads and our flashing swords Resembling a night of falling stars. But he could also compose light amorous verses, with an incidental reference to Ha¯ru¯t, one of the angels mentioned in the Qur a¯n as having taught sorcery to the Babylonians (ka¯mil/ra¯): ö Black-eyed, when she looks at you, It is wine that her eyes pour out. Resonant, her words are like Stretches of meadow clothed in flowers, As if, from under her tongue, Ha¯ru¯t was breathing magic, And what her clothes enfold You fancy to be gold and perfume.
Of the first, the most celebrated exponent was Umar ibn- Abı¯Rabı¯ a (644–712 or 721) who wrote (xafı¯f/a¯bı¯): Ö ö Ö Ö Ö ö Bring her out, swaying like a wild cow Amid five of her age, with swelling breasts. A cloistered one is she, the texture of her cheeks Suffused with the water of youth – The icon of an assiduous monk, Fashioned beside the altar. ” they asked. ” Her fatal charms, her neck, enhanced By a colouring that glittered like gold, Recalled the glory of the sun Emerging from darkness and clouds.
Otherwise, the early manifestations of folk literature are attested only by sparse and haphazard mentions in the sources, and these are often condemnatory. Thus the chronicles for the year 887/8 mention that the Caliph al-Mu tamid (ruled 870–92) urged the common people to attend to their business instead of idling by the roadside and listening to story-tellers. As has already been mentioned, an identifiable folk verse form, the zajal, earned a stable place in literary history in Andalusia, and it opened the door to a number of others.