By Professor Roger Allen
Roger Allen offers a complete introductory survey of literary texts in Arabic, from their unknown beginnings within the 5th century advert to the current day, and from Islam's sacred textual content, the Qur'an, to well known literature together with The Arabian Nights and a wealth of poetry, narrative prose, drama and feedback. With wide quotations in English translation, a chronology and a consultant to additional interpreting, this revised and abridged model of Allen's acclaimed examine, The Arabic Literary history (CUP 1998), offers a useful pupil creation to a massive non-Western literary culture.
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Additional resources for An Introduction to Arabic Literature
The other primary geographical feature of the region is mountains. Northern Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, and the Maghrib, for example, possess mountain ranges that have played a major role in the cultural life of their people. Mountains are often akin to cultural breakwaters, in that they can afford refuge to minority groups. The Atlas Mountains of the Maghrib have served to create a large divide between those living on the coastal plain and the mountain dwellers; in this case differences of language – Berber, French, and Arabic – only compound attitudinal differences created by different means of subsistence (animal herding and agriculture) and widely variant types of education and culture.
However, in academic terms departments that carry the name ‘Middle East’ will teach not only Arabic, but also Persian and Turkish (and often other languages as well), thus including within their purview the broader definition of the Arab world represented by not only Abd al-Na¯s·ir’s Ocean-to-Gulf phrase, but also the Arab nations represented at the United Nations and the Arab League. It is this broader definition of the world of Arabic literature that will be intended when the phrase ‘Middle East’ is used in this book; indeed, the need to examine the literature of al-Andalus in the West and, on occasion, the lands ‘beyond the river’ in the East require an even broader definition.
The Umawı¯ dominions break up into a number of petty states that almost The contexts of the literary tradition immediately begin to lose territory to the Christian kingdoms to the north. By Toledo was in Christian hands, part of the process of ‘reconquista’ that was not completed until when the forces of the redoubtable Isabella of Castille and her husband, Fernando of Aragon, captured Granada and expelled the Arab and Jewish communities to North Africa. Spain was not the only venue where Christian forces were advancing southward.