Beauty in Arabic Culture

Beauty in Arabic Culture

by Doris Behrens-Abouseif
     
 

Doris Behrens-Abouseif's book provides a panorama of the concepts of beauty in classical and post-classical Arabic culture through the 15th century, drawing on Arabic texts from philosophy, theology, mysticism, poetry, and literary criticism as well as historiographic sources and tales from the Thousand and One Nights. Behrens-Abouseif elucidates the ways in which… See more details below

Overview

Doris Behrens-Abouseif's book provides a panorama of the concepts of beauty in classical and post-classical Arabic culture through the 15th century, drawing on Arabic texts from philosophy, theology, mysticism, poetry, and literary criticism as well as historiographic sources and tales from the Thousand and One Nights. Behrens-Abouseif elucidates the ways in which beauty was measured by the degree of pleasure it elicited in the recipient, an attitude that anticipates modernity in both East and West.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
Although the arts were appreciated and promoted throughout the Arabic-Muslim world for centuries, there were no theoretical writings on the arts similar to those in classical Europe. However, as is the case in premodern and traditional cultures, the absence of aesthetic theory in Arab culture did not preclude the awareness of the link between beauty and art, beauty for pleasure, and moral beauty. In this analysis of the Arabic discourse on beauty in architecture, decorative arts, music, and literature, Behrens-Abouseif (Univ. of Munich) provides a variety of examples of the concepts of beauty in classical Arabic-Muslim culture through the 15th century. She draws on primary Arabic texts (such as the use of erotic metaphor in the work of Sufi mystic poets) to show that artistic work was not always associated only with the metaphysical and the divine. Originally written in German, this book offers a thoroughly original and comprehensible explanation of the artistic and aesthetic legacy of a little-understood culture. Highly recommended for all collections.--Ali Houissa, Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY
Booknews
A specialist in Islamic architecture and social history, Behrens-Abouseif (U. of Munich) surveys the concepts of beauty in classical and post-classical Arabic culture through the 15th century CE, drawing on Arabic texts in philosophy, theology, mysticism, poetry, literary criticism, historiography, and the . She shows how beauty was measured by the degree of pleasure it elicited in the recipient. The original German nheit in der Arabischen Kultur/> was published by C. D. Beck'sche Verlagsbuchhandlung, Munich, in 1998. Paper edition (199-3), $22.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781558761988
Publisher:
Wiener, Markus Publishers, Incorporated
Publication date:
11/01/1998
Series:
Princeton Series on the Middle East
Pages:
220
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

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