Al-Jahiz: In Praise of Books

Overview


Introduces the writings and 'Abbasid-period textual world of Al-Jahiz, the "father of Arabic prose". Al-Jahiz was a bibliomaniac, theologian, and spokesman for the political and cultural elite, a writer who lived, counselled and wrote in Iraq during the first century of the 'Abbasid caliphate. He advised, argued and rubbed shoulders with the major power brokers and leading religious and intellectual figures of his day, and crossed swords in debate and argument with the architects of the Islamic religious, ...
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Overview


Introduces the writings and 'Abbasid-period textual world of Al-Jahiz, the "father of Arabic prose". Al-Jahiz was a bibliomaniac, theologian, and spokesman for the political and cultural elite, a writer who lived, counselled and wrote in Iraq during the first century of the 'Abbasid caliphate. He advised, argued and rubbed shoulders with the major power brokers and leading religious and intellectual figures of his day, and crossed swords in debate and argument with the architects of the Islamic religious, theological, philosophical and cultural canon. His many, tumultuous writings engage with these figures, their ideas, theories and policies. They give us an invaluable but much-neglected window onto the values and beliefs of this cosmopolitan elite.Edinburgh University Press will publish two self-contained guides to reading al-Jahiz that also shed light on his society and its writings.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780748683321
  • Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
  • Publication date: 12/30/2013
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 1,096,984
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

James Montgomery is The Sir Thomas Adams's Professor of Arab at the University of Cambridge

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Table of Contents

Preface

Part 1: Physiognomy of an Apocalyptic Age
1.1 Cataclysm
1.2 Eristics and Salvation
1.3 A Self-chronicling Society

Part 2 The Book of Living
2.1 The Totalising Work
2.2 The Treatise as Totality
2.3 Parsing Totality
2.4 The Articulation of The Book of Living
2.5 Analogues?

Part 3: The Jahizian Library Under Attack
3.1 Introducing the 'Introduction'
3.2 Translation
3.3 Commentary
3.4 The Argument

Part 4: The Salvific Book
4.1 Biobibliographies
4.2 The Form of the 'Introduction'
4.3 The Enigma of the Addressee
4.4 Invective
4.5 The Cohesiveness of Society
4.6 An Encyclopaedia to Save Society

Part 5: The Architecture of Design
5.1 Governance of the Cosmos
5.2 The Grateful Response, 1
5.3 The Grateful Response, 2
5.4 Obliquity

Part 6: Appreciating Design
6.1 An Eristical Contest
6.2 Translation
6.3 The Argument
6.4 Conclusion

Postface

Appendix: The Praise of Books

Notes
Bibliography
Index

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