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Renate Jacobi

Bio: Renate Jacobi is an academic researcher from Free University of Berlin. The author has an hindex of 2, co-authored 3 publications receiving 26 citations.

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Al-khaydidni as mentioned in this paper, the two khaydl motif, is a variant of the motif of the vision of the beloved appearing in a night vision in Arabic love poetry.
Abstract: The khayal or tayf is a "vision" of the beloved, appearing by night, a favourite motif of Arabic love poetry from the time of the Jahiliyya. As I have argued in a paper published in 1990,` it was first conceived as an apparition or ghost, confronting the poet in the external world, not always welcome, and sometimes even terrifying him. Later, from the early 7th century onwards, it was referred to as a vision the poet sees in his dream, longed for and fulfilling his secret wishes, granting favours the beloved herself refused. This last aspect is dwelled upon with satisfaction especially in the Umayyad period. Thus far, there seems to be no problem. Dreaming about a person one is in love with is a universal experience, by no means limited to Arabic poets. Also, it presents no difficulties for our understanding as to its cause, nor for that of medieval poets. Some of them realized and said so plainly in their verses that the appearance of the khayal was the result of wishful thinking. When analysing later variants of the motif, however, one receives the impression that the khayal or rayf, as conceived by Arabic poets, does possess more reality, I should even like to say more "substance," than a figure appearing in a dream. One of the reasons is, I believe, that Islamic poets still identify themselves with poetic tradition and seek to evoke the atmosphere of the original motif. They consciously allude to it, as to other motifs of the nasib, by using the conventional vocabulary, and they even retain certain elements of the narrative which are hardly relevant within the context of a dream, such as the question how the khaydl was able to cross mountains and deserts in order to reach the poet. What is more, the identity of the khayal with the beloved, and the exact relation between the two, has always appeared somewhat dubious, and the question as to what the phenomenon really is, although rarely discussed explicitly, seems to have intrigued poets at all times. That is why I prefer to leave the term khaydl (or tayf ) untranslated ; it is evident that it has not always been conceived as exactly the same thing. The latent influence of the original narrative may have also contributed to the development of some extraordinary variations of the motif in Islamic times-extraordinary from the aspect of comparative literature, I mean-and one of these variations is the subject of this paper: al-khaydidni, "the two khaydl." The variation originates in the Umayyad or early Abbasid period,

20 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the problem of "poetische lüge" is discussed in the context of the Europäischen Kultur der ästhetische Gesichtspunkt über den moralischen gesiegt.
Abstract: Der Vorwurf, daß die Dichter lügen, ist der europäischen Literatur seit der Antike wohl vertraut. Dichtung steht danach im Gegensatz zu Wahrheit oder Wahrhaftigkeit und erscheint dem moralischen Urteil als wertlos, wenn nicht schädlich. Die „poetische Lüge\" ist aber auch im neutralen oder sogar positiven Sinne verstanden worden. Dann ist es die Wirklichkeit, der die Dichtung als eine von der Phantasie des Künstlers geschaffene Welt des Scheins gegenübersteht. In ihr verliert der moralische Maßstab seine Gültigkeit; allein ästhetische Kriterien können ihren Wert bestimmen. Beiden Einstellungen zur Dichtung, der des Moralisten und der des Ästheten, begegnen wir auch in der islamischen Literatur, in der die poetische Lüge früh als Problem empfunden und diskutiert wird. Bei der Verfolgung dieser Diskussion durch das arabische Schrifttum des Mittelalters werden wir feststellen, daß in der islamischen wie in der europäischen Kultur der ästhetische Gesichtspunkt über den moralischen gesiegt hat. Diese Tatsache ist nicht ganz selbstverständlich, wenn man das negative Urteil des Korans bedenkt, das die früheste und zugleich gewichtigste Aussage über die Dichtung darstellt: „Und den Dichtern folgen diejenigen, die (vom rechten Weg) abgeirrt sind. Hast du denn nicht gesehen, daß sie in jedem Wadi schwärmen, und daß sie sagen, was sie nicht tun? Nicht so diejenigen, die glauben und tun, was recht ist, und unablässig Gottes gedenken'* (26, 224—27).) Die koranische

4 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Ordnung des Weges (Naẓm as-sulūk) as discussed by the authors is a mystische Ästhetik in Sufismus, in which each Sufist beschreibt, wie der Mensch die göttliche Schönheit (ǧamāl) erkennen kann, die sich in der irdischen Schönía (ḥusn) manifestiert.
Abstract: Abstract Ibn al-Fāriḍ (gest. 632/1235), einer der bedeutendsten Dichter des Sufismus, entwickelt in seinem großen Lehrgedicht „Die Ordnung des Weges“ (Naẓm as-sulūk) eine mystische Ästhetik, indem er beschreibt, wie der Mensch die göttliche Schönheit (ǧamāl) erkennen kann, die sich in der irdischen Schönheit (ḥusn) manifestiert. Beide arabischen Begriffe haben in seinen Versen keine moralische Konnotation, worin er sich von anderen Sufis unterscheidet. Es ist ein Prozess der sinnlichen Wahrnehmung, an dem Geist (rūḥ) und Seele (nafs), sowie alle Sinnesorgane beteiligt sind. In diesem Prozess nehmen die Sinne die irdische Schönheit wahr und melden sie der Seele. Diese gibt die Botschaft an den Geist weiter, der allein imstande ist, die göttliche Essenz in der Materie zu erkennen. Am Ende des mystischen Weges, den Ibn al-Fāriḍ aus eigener Erfahrung schildert, hat er selbst die Stufe der kosmischen Einheit erreicht. Dort ist jede Trennung in Mikrokosmos und Makrokosmos aufgehoben. Im Mikrokosmos, im Menschen, fallen alle körperlichen Funktionen zusammen, sind austauschbar. Auf der Ebene des Makrokosmos sind die irdische Schönheit und die göttliche Schönheit eins geworden.

2 citations

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Book ChapterDOI
01 Jan 2006

13 citations

Book ChapterDOI
01 Apr 2006
TL;DR: Abdel-Majeed et al. as discussed by the authors found the earliest physical evidence of Shahrazade's literary existence in two tenth-century Arabic texts, one of which is a fragment of early medieval paper from Syria.
Abstract: The book known in English as The Arabian Nights’ Entertainments or A Thousand and One Nights bears the imprint of many different times, places and individuals. The history of its transmission, translation, expurgation and falsification is nearly as fabulous as the tales told by its most famous character, Shahrazād (Scheherezade). The oldest evidence for the work’s existence, curiously enough, only came to light relatively recently. In 1948, Nabia Abbott, the first female faculty member of the Oriental Institute in Chicago, was examining a rare piece of early medieval paper from Syria when she suddenly realized that the text she was reading was familiar. Writing in no less than six different hands covered every available space on both sides of the sheet of paper: the draft of a personal letter, a legal attestation to a contract, a crude drawing of a human figure, a few scattered phrases scribbled in the margins and the now famous passage from A Thousand and One Nights. Abbott’s painstaking analysis led not only to the deciphering of all of these texts but also to a rather precise dating for the fragment to the early ninth century The short passage from the Nights that she had discovered proved to be over 1,100 years old -the earliest physical evidence of Shahrazād’s literary existence. Other than Abbott’s fragment, the oldest pieces of historical evidence are found in two tenth-century Arabic texts. The Baghdadi bookseller Ibn al-Nadīm (d. between 990 and 998) offers an account of the Nights and how it first appeared in Arabic literature in his Fihrist (Catalogue of Books) in the section dealing with ‘Story-tellers and Raconteurs’ (al-musāmirūn wa‘l- mukharrifūn).

13 citations

Lara Harb1
14 May 2020
TL;DR: This article argued that literary quality depended on the ability of linguistic expression to produce an experience of discovery and wonder in the listener, arguing that rhetorical figures, simile, metaphor, and sentence construction are able to achieve this effect of wonder.
Abstract: What makes language beautiful? Arabic Poetics offers an answer to what this pertinent question looked like at the height of the Islamic civilization. In this novel argument, Lara Harb suggests that literary quality depended on the ability of linguistic expression to produce an experience of discovery and wonder in the listener. Analyzing theories of how rhetorical figures, simile, metaphor, and sentence construction are able to achieve this effect of wonder, Harb shows how this aesthetic theory, first articulated at the turn of the eleventh century CE, represented a major paradigm shift from earlier Arabic criticism which based its judgement on criteria of truthfulness and naturalness. In doing so, this study poses a major challenge to the misconception in modern scholarship that Arabic criticism was 'traditionalist' or 'static', exposing an elegant widespread conceptual framework of literary beauty in the post-eleventh-century Islamicate world which is central to poetic criticism, the interpretation of Aristotle's Poetics in Arabic philosophy and the rationale underlying discussions about the inimitability of the Quran.

9 citations

Book ChapterDOI
01 Apr 2006
TL;DR: In this paper, we will briefly shift the focus to one segment of this most understudied area of Arabic literature, namely popular poetry of the post-classical period as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: If it is the post-classical period of Arabic literature that has received the least scholarly attention of all eras of Arabic literature, it is undoubtedly the sub-field of‘popular literature’ that has suffered the most neglect. While some of the gaps in our knowledge of popular literature in the modern period have, in recent years, been filled in, the earlier periods remain largely understudied. In this chapter we will briefly shift the focus to one segment of this most understudied area of Arabic literature, namely popular poetry of the post-classical period. From the outset the term ‘popular poetry’ requires some discussion and qualification. In the next few pages, while attempting to sort out some of the apparent problems with the use of this term, we will roughly delimit the area of poetic production that we are concerned with and defend the use of this term as the best of an inexact lot for what is in fact a very diverse area of Arabic poetic production. Most of what we know as Arabic poetry’ is, of course, poetry produced in fushā or classical Arabic by court poets or the poets of the rich and famous, in other words, the creative currency of a privileged sliver of society. Those who possessed sufficient power and wealth engaged the services of poets whose main activity was the creation of panegyrics in their honour intended to enhance their benefactors’ prestige. The classical qasīda, or ode, with its mostly predictable roster of motifs, was the conventional form that such tributes took.

7 citations