Qasida Poetry in Islamic Asia and Africa (2 vols.): 1. Classical Traditions & Modern Meanings / 2. Eulogy's Bounty, Meaning's Abundance. An Anthology

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This publication deals with the qasida, a poetic genre of Arabic origin which has become a major vehicle for the expression of societal and religious ideals in many languages of Asia and Africa. Volume One is a collection of papers by international specialists dealing with classical and modern qasida traditions that range from those in Arabic, Persian and Turkish in the Islamic heartland to languages further afield such as Urdu, Indonesian and Hausa. The papers focus upon selected poems which are published, together with an English translation, in Volume Two. This anthology contains fifty poems in fourteen languages dating from the seventh to the twentieth centuries. In their unprecedented scope, these volumes make a unique contribution to the comparative study of poetry and literary history in the Islamic world.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Few bibliographies of Islamic literature will (or should) now omit these two volumes from their listings.'
Philip Kennedy, Research in African Literatures, 1997.
'This is a truly unique and monumental work which is not likely to be superseded in a very long time...Although it is virtually impossible for a review to do justice to this outstanding and wide-ranging work, there is no doubt in the mind of this reviewer that its greatest distinction derives from the papers contained in it…The wide area that the book covers spatially and temporally makes it highly informative, for it is scarcely possible for any single person to cover as much terrain as the book does.'
Wadād Kadi, Journal of Islamic Studies, 1999.
One volume comprises an anthology of 50 poems in their 14 original languages with English translations facing. The other presents 22 scholarly essays on the specific poems included and more generally on both the traditional and modern forms of the poetic genre that began in Arabic but is now used throughout Islamic Asia and Africa to express societal and religious feelings. They discuss such aspects as the origin and persistence of the qasida form, qasida form and the mystic path in 13th-century Egypt, the secular panegyric in Mughal and British India, late Ottoman and republican times, the Kurdish qasida, post-Mongol Iran, West Africa, the transformation of the form in modern Arabic poetry, propagating morals through popular music in modern Indonesia, the influence of the qasida on the development of Swahili rhymed and metered verse, and discourses on power and its Islamization. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789004104525
  • Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/1/1996
  • Series: Studies in Arabic Literature Series, #20
  • Pages: 532
  • Product dimensions: 6.54 (w) x 9.44 (h) x 2.97 (d)

Meet the Author

Stefan Sperl Ph.D. (London 1977), worked for UNHCR from 1978 to 1988 and now teaches Arabic literature and refugee studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London; his publications include Mannerism in Arabic Poetry (Cambridge 1989).
Christopher Shackle Ph.D. (London 1972), FBA. is Professor of Modern Languages of South Asia at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. He has published extensively on South Asian languages and literatures, especially Urdu und Panjabi.
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