Encyclopedia of Arabic Literature by Julie Scott Meisami, Paul Starkey

By Julie Scott Meisami, Paul Starkey

The Encyclopedia of Arabic Literature is an authoritative reference resource at the most crucial authors, works, genres, key words, recommendations and concerns within the Arabic literary culture. The Encyclopedia covers the classical (pre-Islamic to 1258), transitional (1258-1798) and sleek sessions inside a unmarried paintings. In over 1300 separately-authored entries, the various world's specialists mix present learn with conventional examine to supply authoritative research and remark on quite a lot of components. those contain significant authors, very important works, and numerous literary phrases. additionally coated are types reminiscent of poetry, drama and newspaper writing and key severe recommendations of Arabic literature.

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He wrote with enthusiasm of the simple and happy rural life on Mount Lebanon, and of its age-old customs, and described some of its most memorable personalities, as in his collections Wujuh wa-bikiiyiit (1945) and Abiidfth alqarya (1956). It is, however, for his literary criticism and its insights - in such books as 'Alii al-mi/:lakk (1946), Judud wa-qudamii' (1954), and Naqadiit 'iibir (1959) - that 'Abbfid is likely to be remembered, rather than for his unassuming poetry, novels and plays. He will also be remembered for his literary history in such works as Ruwwiid al-nahda albadftha (1952), for his literary biogr~phies (including Saqr Lubniin, 1950, on Abmad Faris al-Shidyaq), and for his original study of Lebanese vernacular poetry (zajal) entitled al-Shi'r al-'iimm[ (1968).

The first is the Asrar albalagha, Mysteries of Eloquence, which, in spite of its vague title, deals mostly with the theory of imagery. Due to a confluence of poetic and Koranic studies of metaphor, which had created considerable confusion, he was faced with the difficult task of clarifying the situation. He distinguishes between tashblh, 'simile' (comparison of single terms) and tamthll, 'analogy' (comparison of a set of terms), and - more importantly - between isti'ara, 'metaphor', based on tashblh, and isti'ara based on tamthll.

P. STARKEY 18 Egyptian writer and man of letters, the brother of Mu~tafa 'Abd al-Riiziq. After studying at al-Azhar, he studied political economy and sociology in England, returning to Egypt in 1915. He then became a judge at the religious court in al-Man~ura. In 1925 he provoked a vehement discussion on the caliphate with his thesis ai-Islam wa-u$ul al-l;ukm (an attack on theological arguments for secular power), and was dismissed from all his official positions. He later became minister of Waqfs and a member of the Arab Language Academy.

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