By Professor Roger Allen

ISBN-10: 0511010745

ISBN-13: 9780511010743

ISBN-10: 0521772303

ISBN-13: 9780521772303

ISBN-10: 0521776570

ISBN-13: 9780521776578

Roger Allen presents a entire 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 renowned literature together with The Arabian Nights and a wealth of poetry, narrative prose, drama and feedback. With huge quotations in English translation, a chronology and a advisor to extra studying, this revised and abridged model of Allen's acclaimed research, The Arabic Literary historical past (CUP 1998), presents a useful pupil advent to an important non-Western literary culture.

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To be sure, the majority of Arabs are Muslims, but there are significant communities of Arabs who are not – the Maronites of Lebanon and the Copts of Egypt, for example. On the other hand, many Muslims are not Arabs; Iranians, for example (whose Persian language is a member of the Indo-European family), Pakistanis, and large communities in Malaysia, Indonesia, and China. But, beyond these points of information, there lies the assumption that the peoples of a region as diverse in history and culture as the one that we have just The contexts of the literary tradition  outlined can be described as a single, unified whole on the basis of their being linked by a common language (in itself a problematic notion, as we shall see below).

By the time of the caliph al-Mu tas·im (r. –), this new category of soldiers had become such a disruptive element in the life of Baghda¯d that the caliph decided in  to move them to the purpose-built city of Samarra¯ further up the River Tigris, and to establish his centre of authority there. In  the caliph al-Mu tad·id decided to return to Baghda¯d, but the new patterns of authority had now been firmly established. By this time, several regions within the larger area of Islamic dominion were already politically independent.

That language will be used in the home and in day-to-day communication between inhabitants of the dialect area in question. As is the case with any language, there are of course many sub-dialects within each country and region, but one may begin by making a distinction on the broadest scale between the dialects of the Maghrib (Libya and westward) and those of the Eastern countries. Within the latter group the dialect of Cairo has, by dint of population size and the widespread popularity of contemporary Egyptian media, come to be regarded in the region (and among Western Arabists) as the colloquial that is at least understood (if not spoken) by the largest number of people.

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An Introduction to Arabic Literature by Professor Roger Allen


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