scispace - formally typeset
Search or ask a question
Book

Models and Contacts: Arabic Literature and Its Impact on Medieval Jewish Culture

31 Jul 2000-
TL;DR: In this paper, the introduction of fictionality into Classical Arabic Literature, the mechanics of the basic rhyming model in Classical Arabic poetry and the medieval Arabic theory of rhyme are discussed.
Abstract: Medieval Jewish literature from the 10th century onwards drew heavily on Arabic literary models. This important new study discusses the introduction of fictionality into Classical Arabic Literature, the mechanics of the basic rhyming model in Classical Arabic poetry and the medieval Arabic theory of rhyme. Subsequently, it goes on to analyze the introduction of Arabic literary models into 10th-century Jewish literature, Karaite influences, the roles of Hebrew and Arabic and bilingualism, metrical innovations and literary contacts in later Jewish literary works. This work will prove a valuable source of study material to students and historians of Classical Arabic and medieval Jewish literature.
Citations
More filters
01 Jan 2018
TL;DR: The Festschrift as discussed by the authors is a collection of papers in honour of Geoffrey Khan, the Regius Professor of Hebrew at the University of Cambridge, written by his former and current students and post-doctoral re...
Abstract: This Festschrift is a collection of papers in honour of Geoffrey Khan, the Regius Professor of Hebrew at the University of Cambridge, written by his former and current students and post-doctoral re ...

52 citations

Book ChapterDOI
01 Jan 2012
TL;DR: In judischen theosophischen und kabbalistischen Vorstellungen von der Antike bis in die Neuzeit, wurde das hebraische Alphabet (Alef-Bet) nicht nur als graphisches Reprasentationssystem der hebraischen Sprache (↗Hebraisch) aufgefasst, sondern galt auch als Trager von symbolischen and metaphysischen Bedeutungen as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: In judischen theosophischen und kabbalistischen Vorstellungen von der Antike bis in die Neuzeit wurde das hebraische Alphabet (Alef-Bet) nicht nur als graphisches Reprasentationssystem der hebraischen Sprache (↗Hebraisch) aufgefasst, sondern galt auch als Trager von symbolischen und metaphysischen Bedeutungen. Mit der Heiligkeit (↗Kadosh) der hebraischen Buchstaben korrespondierte die Stellung von Schreibern heiliger Texte in Antike und Mittelalter, aber auch die Entwicklung von Drucklettern (!Buchdruck). Vor dem Hintergrund der Modernisierung wurde in der judischen Literatur und bildenden Kunst das hebraische Alphabet als letzter Ort der go ttlichen Kraft und gelegentlich der judischen Existenz transzendiert.

36 citations

Dissertation
12 Sep 2016
Abstract: This dissertation identifies a turning point in the development of literary theory as a discipline in the classical Arabic-Islamic world, starting in the Arabic East in the thirteenth century under the emerging framework of ʿilm al-bayān ‘the science of good style’. Treating a range of poetic, rhetorical, and literary-critical matters that had been studied under various disciplinary headings since the ninth century, the discipline was now consciously recognized as having an underlying theory and an established canon. I trace this development beginning with D iyāʾ al-Dīn Ibn al-Athīr (d. 1239) and follow its progression throughout Greater Syria and Egypt as late as the end of the fourteenth century, after the standard theory of rhetoric (ʿilm albalāgha) emerged within the madrasa institution. I then analyze in depth one test case for literary-theoretical thinking in this time and place, namely, majāz ‘figurative language’. Although linguistic theories about majāz, inspired by Islamic legal theory, had become a hallmark of literary studies, I argue that literary scholars implicitly espoused a non-linguistic conception of the notion, akin to kadhib ‘lie’ (a term not used due to its negative theological connotations). My analysis demonstrates that despite tensions between being a science concerned with hermeneutics and one concerned with poetics, ʿilm al-bayān was essentially the latter.

12 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors re-visit Cervantes' views of Islam and Muslims and explore the not yet duly studied possible Arabic influence on Don Quixote, by comparing, for the first time in Cervantine scholarship, the Moorish tale (i.e., "The Captive's Tale") to the Frankish tale known alternatively as "Princess Miriam the Girdle-girl, daughter of the King of France" and "The Love Tale of Ali Nur al-Din the Cairene and Princess Mariam, Daughter of the
Abstract: In Don Quixote: A Touchstone for Literary Criticism (2005), distinguished Cervantine scholar James A. Parr does not seem to go too far when he hails Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra's El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha (1605-1615)--hereafter Don Quixote--as the perfect model of a "pivotal text" that is "prescient in its formulation of the strategies of the self-conscious, self-questioning, and other experimental and historical texts of our time" (6). Indeed, in addition to its superlative literary merit and fictional uniqueness, Don Quixote is historically and culturally rich. This is very much true, for example, of the text's distinctively complex dramatization of the early modern encounter between Europe and Islam. This encounter, of course historically speaking, was primarily embodied in the conflict between Habsburg Spain and the Ottoman Empire, then Europe's and the Islamic world's two leading powers. (2) Although the Spanish-Ottoman rivalry was performed in different territorial and, mainly, maritime battlegrounds--the Battle of Lepanto (1571) looms large in this regard--the textual ones were not less significant and Don Quixote is a compelling textual illustration. (3) In growing numbers, scholars are arguing that the "contact zone," between Europe and Islam is textually and contextually very detectable throughout the works of Cervantes. (4) "Islam," to quote Frederick Quinn's The Sum of All Heresies: The Image of Islam in Western Thought (2008), "was a topic not only in French and English political, religious, and cultural writings but also was the focus of a major seventeenth-century Spanish writer, Miguel de Cervantes" (83). While a fair amount of ink has been spilled on the Islamic theme, and that of Algiers in particular, in works such as Los Bagnos de Argel (The Bagnios of Algiers), Los Tratos de Alger (The Traffic of Algiers), El Galardo Espanol (The Gallant Spaniard) and La Gran Sultana (The Grand Sultana), there still exits a lacuna when it comes to exploring Cervantes' complex representation of Islam and his attitude towards the Arabo-Islamic cultural heritage in his magnum opus. Through addressing what I see as Cervantes' reference to the medieval propaganda myth of "the idol Mahomet," his literary transfiguration of the early modern subversive phenomenon of the conversion to Islam, and his ambiguous feelings towards the Arabian historian Cide Hamete Benengeli, I will re-visit Cervantes' views of Islam and Muslims. I will, further, explore--again, what I see as--the not yet duly studied possible Arabic influence on Don Quixote. I will do so by comparing, for the first time in Cervantine scholarship, the Moorish tale (i.e., "The Captive's Tale") to the Arabian Alf Layla wa- Layla's Frankish tale known alternatively as "Princess Miriam the Girdle-girl, Daughter of the King of France" and "The Love Tale of Ali Nur al-Din the Cairene and Princess Mariam, Daughter of the King of France." I will finally, albeit briefly, draw attention to the Arabic maqama genre whose features and motifs bear some striking similarities to some of the salient narratological and structural aspects of Don Quixote. The hope is to stir further interest and future research on the possible (in)direct influence of the Arabic maqama genre on Don Quixote. (5) It is "universally acknowledged" that Don Quixote is introduced at the beginning of the narrative as an obsessive reader of romances of chivalry and a zealous admirer of Christian knights. "In short," we are told, "our gentleman became so caught up in reading that he spent his nights from dusk till dawn and his days reading from sunrise to sunset" (21). In his seemingly never-ending disputes with his entourage, specifically the learned curate of the parish and the connoisseur Master Nicholas, barber of La Mancha, he prides himself on fervently defending the valor of his favorite knights Amadis de Gaula, El Cid Ruy Diaz, Bernardo del Carpio, (6) giant Morgante, and Reinaldos de Montalban. …

8 citations

Book ChapterDOI
01 Oct 2010
TL;DR: In Islam, the act of coming to Islam is very simple as mentioned in this paper, and conversion to Islam involves nothing more, at base, than submitting oneself to God, which has consequences -legal, fiscal and especially social in different contexts, but its religious aspect consists of just the formal recognition of the one God and of Muḥammad as His messenger.
Abstract: The problem The word islām means ‘submission’, ‘submitting’, and conversion to Islam involves nothing more, at base, than submitting oneself to God. It has consequences – legal, fiscal and especially social – in different contexts, but its religious aspect consists of just the formal recognition of the one God and of Muḥammad as His messenger. Reciting the formula lā ilāha illā Allāh, Muḥammad rasūl Allāh is enough. The act of coming to Islam is thus very simple. The worldwide spread of a faith that at first was exclusively that of the inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula was, however, much more complex as Islam came for centuries also to mean an empire created and at first largely ruled over by Arabs and a culture dominated by Islam: ‘civilization and Islam went together’. Between 632 and about 1500 the great majority of the people between the Atlantic and India, and many beyond, converted to Islam. Who did it, when, where, how and above all why? What was the meaning of conversion, for converts and for those around them, their new co-religionists and their former ones? Can we measure the degree or rate of conversion in different societies and areas of the Islamic world? Did it happen all at once or over a longer period of time? Was it voluntary or did converts change their faith under compulsion? What happened to those left behind, those who did not undergo conversion?

8 citations