By Professor Roger Allen, D. S. Richards
The ultimate quantity of the sequence explores the Arabic literary background of the little-known interval from the 12th to the start of the 19th century. although it was once in this time that the well-known Thousand and One Nights, used to be composed, little or no has been written at the literature of the interval in general and Roger Allen and Donald Richards collect probably the most extraordinary students within the box. the quantity is split into elements with the traditions of poetry and prose coated individually inside either their 'elite' and 'popular' contexts. The final sections are dedicated to drama and the indigenous culture of literary feedback.
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Additional info for The Cambridge History of Arabic Literature, Vol. 6: Arabic Literature in the Post-Classical Period
Reading his long d¯aliyya29 that begins ‘Others fear death, not I’, the first part of which is dedicated to vaunting his pride and status, one is impressed with a sense of emotional fullness that pervades this part of the poem, reminiscent – in its fiery words, its defiant tone, its well-phrased word order and its faithfulness to the inherited passion and balance within the poem – of fakhr poetry from pre-Islamic times: I do not fear fate if it should strike me nor avoid bitter death if it should rush at me We recognize a familiar voice as the poet lets his words flow with a smooth lucidity.
In bringing this introductory chapter to a close, I think it wise to reiterate in explicit terms what this volume in The Cambridge History of Arabic Literature series does not attempt to do. It is one of the first attempts in a European language to treat the vast period between approximately 1150 and 1850 as a separate entity, indeed as an entity worthy of study at all within a literary-critical context. As such, it cannot fail to differ from the aspirations of the previous volumes in the series which, in spite of their differing organizational principles, have all endeavoured to present as comprehensive a summary as possible of the relevant segment of the Arabic literary heritage.
Even though it lacked any active communication with the human condition, it nonetheless provided a solution for poets who had reached the end of their tolerance of the age of poetic utilitarianism, a refuge from the burden of eulogy. On this kind of neutral ground, erudition and inventiveness could shine through, independent of extraneous considerations. During the period under study, poets continued to compose such miniatures with inventive, though often dispassionate, skill. Yet the search for novelty did not abate, as these purely descriptive examples were independent of other themes.