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Look Inside The Arabic Literary Heritage

The Arabic Literary Heritage
The Development of its Genres and Criticism


  • Date Published: August 1998
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521480666

£ 88.00

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About the Authors
  • Roger Allen here offers an account of the cultural tradition of literary texts in Arabic, from their unknown beginnings in the fifth century AD to the present day. Allen's organising principle is not that of traditional literary histories, but is rather based on an account of the major genres of Arabic literature. After introductory chapters on principles and contexts, there are chapters devoted to the Qur'an as literature, poetry, belletristic prose, drama and criticism. Within each chapter the emphasis is on the texts themselves, and those who created and commented on them, but Allen also demonstrates his awareness of recent Western theoretical and critical approaches. The volume as a whole, which contains extensive quotations in English translation, a chronology and a guide to further reading, makes a major non-Western literary tradition newly accessible to students and scholars of the West.

    • Unique one-volume history of major non-Western literature
    • Accessible and comprehensive account of Arabic literature and its texts
    • Generous use of translated examples
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ' … a hallmark in its particular field … indispensable to anybody concerned with Arabic literature … The Arabic Literary Heritage can be recommended to a general interest readership as well as to scholars of Arabic literature. The latter will be grateful to find a volume of encyclopaedic breadth, a real work of reference. For the former, it is the best and in fact only introduction to the history of Arabic literature that I could recommend'. Banifal

    'Allen's imaginatively organized essays on the Qur'an, belles-lettres, poetry, drama and criticism are full of interest and represent a clean break with the mostly obsolete histories of the subject by Nicholson, Huart and Gibb.' The Times Literary Supplement

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 1998
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521480666
    • length: 476 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 160 x 30 mm
    • weight: 0.78kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. An essay on precedents and principles
    2. The contexts of the literary tradition
    3. The Qu'ran: sacred text and cultural yardstick
    4. Poetry
    5. belletristic prose and narrative
    6. Drama
    7. The critical tradition
    Guide to further reading.

  • Author

    Roger Allen, University of Pennsylvania

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