By Pierre Cachia
Assuming no prior wisdom of the topic, Arabic Literature - an outline provides a rounded and balanced view of Arab literary creativity. 'High' literature is tested along renowned people literature, and the classical and smooth classes, frequently handled individually, are offered jointly. Cachia's observations aren't subordinated to any pre-formed literary thought, yet describe and illustrate the instructions taken, in an effort to current an total photograph of the sector of relevance to the scholar of literature in addition to to Arabists operating in similar fields.
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Extra info for Arabic Literature - An Overview (Culture and Civilisation in the Middle East.)
In the words of the translator, such effusions “may be set down by Europeans as merely examples of laborious trifling”. But to understand the effect that this particular sample has on an Arab reader, one needs to savour what is sounds like in the original: ma¯ danna lla¯ xabı¯n : wa la¯ xubina illa¯ danı¯n :: wa la¯ xazana ˙ ˙ illa¯ sˇaqiyy : wa la¯ qabada ra¯hahu taqiyy :: wa ma¯ fati a ˙ ˙ wa duka yafı¯ : wa a¯ra¯ uka tasˇfı¯ :: wa hila¯luka yudı¯ : wa ˙ hilmuka yuxdı¯ :: wa a¯la¯ uka tuxnı¯ : wa a da¯ uka tutnı¯ :: wa ˙ ˙ husa¯muka yufnı¯ : wa su daduka yuqnı¯ :: wa muwa¯siluka ˙ ˙ yajtanı¯ : wa ma¯dihuka yaqtanı¯ :: wa sama¯huka yuxı¯t : wa ˙ ˙ sama¯ uka taxı¯t :: wa darruka yafı¯d : wa radduka yaxı¯d ˙ ˙ ö ö Ö ö ö ö ö ö ö öÖ ö ö ö The rhyming and the pairing of words that differ in only one letter are evident, but in addition taqiyy and yafı¯, yufnı¯ and yuqnı¯, yuxı¯t and taxı¯t look exactly alike in the Arabic script except for the arrangement of dots.
It is not without some irony that the term came virtually to mean ‘a heretic’ whereas it is their religious fervour that their many fine poets express. 698/9) (rajaz/a¯dah): ˙ Ö ö Till when shall martyrdom pass me by, When death to us is an ornamental collar? No wont of ours is flight from strife. To piety, Lord, swell my devotion, Then increase my spurning of life. 680/1) trumpeted his defiance (bası¯t/ ˙ a¯lı¯): ö We care nothing, once our souls depart, What you do with our limbs or bodies. It is Paradise we seek when our skulls are laid Beneath the dust like crumbling colocynth.
Moreover, in his introductory volume the editor says of them and of the poet: “They are not worthy of him, but such is one of the impositions made by an environment in which the colloquial predominates”. In modern times, the insistence on “correct” classical usage for all serious writing does create difficulties for the journalist who tries to reach as wide a public as possible, or the scientist who relies on the colloquial for all his everyday contacts, depends heavily on Western sources for his research, yet has to record his own findings 2 The first of these two publications is asˇ-Sˇawqiyya¯t, ed.
Arabic Literature - An Overview (Culture and Civilisation in the Middle East.) by Pierre Cachia