On the Art of Medieval Arabic Literature

Princeton University Press
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In applying the standards of modern literary criticism to medieval Arabic literature, Andras Hamori concentrates on those aspects of the literature that appear most alien to modern Western taste: the limitation of themes, the sedimentation with conventions, and the use of elusive patterns of composition.

The first part of the book approaches Arabic literature from the historical point of view, concentrating on the transformations in poetic genres and poetic attitudes towards time and society in the literature between the sixth and the tenth centuries. The problems of poetic technique are then discussed, with special emphasis on poetic unity and the use of conventions. The third part of the book deals with methods of composition in prose through an examination of the orders and disorders in two tales from the Arabian Nights.

Originally published in 1974.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Mar 8, 2015
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Pages
214
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ISBN
9781400869350
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Criticism / General
Literary Criticism / Middle Eastern
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Daniel E. Beaumont
"Slave of Desire explores the stories in the anonymous medieval Arabic work The 1001 Nights. The tales that make up The 1001 Nights (also known as The Arabian Nights) are told by Shahrazad to King Shahriyar each night in order to ransom her life for one more day, and they have been recognized as classics of narrative art since their first appearance in European translation three centuries ago. The influence of the Nights since then has also been extensive; the stories of "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves," "Aladdin," and "Sinbad" have been mined for numerous Hollywood B movies, and at the same time crop up along with other stories and characters as allusions and points of reference in the works of such authors as Proust, Joyce, and Borges." "Slave of Desire, through its analyses of various stories, reveals The 1001 Nights to be a very different sort of work, a sophisticated and subtle piece of literature that can provoke and disturb as much as it entertains and amuses. Daniel Beaumont, a scholar of medieval Arabic literature, draws upon the ideas of Freud, Jacques Lacan, and Slavoj Zizek to explore the meaning of such famous stories as the frame tale of Shahrazad and King Shahriyar, "The Porter and the Three Ladies of Baghdad," "The Hunchback" and many others. He discusses the stories both in the context of medieval Islamic culture and in the wider context of world literature. A famous love story such as "Qamar al-Zaman" is considered both in terms of the medieval Islamic literature of love and Freudian notions; the story of Shahrazad and Shahriyar is probed by means of Kojeve's analysis of the master-slave relation; and the notion of "dream-work" is used to show how "The Merchant and the Jinni" reuses and transforms Biblical plots and characters for a medieval Muslim readership. By means of these and other wide-ranging comparisons with literary works both Arabic and Western, the author reveals surprising, and often amusing, aspects to the stories."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
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