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Arabic Poetics: Aesthetic Experience in Classical Arabic Literature (Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization)

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Harb then shows the development of takhyīl, mimesis, and the experience of wonder in the poetics of Ibn Sīnā, Ibn Rushd, Qarṭājannī, and Sijilmāsī, while also exploring Ibn Rushd’s notion of alteration ( taghyīr) as the defining trait of poetry, which similarly refers to the using of language in an unfamiliar way to produce wonder (108).

Harb shows how the philosophers went through a trajectory similar to that of poetic criticism in that they began with defining poetry through a true-false scale, as evident in Fārābī’s writings, who, in turn, laid the foundations for Ibn Sīnā to define poetry through takhyīl, and consequently, its ability to incite the soul with wonder (76).Just as our cognitive experiences are imbued with emotion, the cognitive experience of language can also stir emotions in the human soul. I analyze the general poetic terms that stem from the first issue of the magazine based on my textual analysis of its poems and articles. Text editions are as a rule accompanied by a translation on facing pages; both text editions and translations should include comprehensive, critical introductions which give a full and proper appreciation of the text or texts in question.

I make the argument in my book that the main aesthetic underlying post-10 th-century classical Arabic literary theory was one of wonder; that is, poetic beauty was evaluated based on the ability of language to evoke an experience of discovery and wonder in the listener. With its comprehensive overview of the Arabic poetry, translated poetry, and critical articles published in Majallat Shi‘r, this book defines the dimensions of the literary direction the magazine adopted and the identity of the sources from which it drew the foundations of its modernism and creative facets. This groundbreaking book uses the conceptual world of classical Arabic poetics ('ilm al-balagha) to 'decolonize the overwhelming, illogical divorce between linguistic and literary studies' of ancient Egyptian. The study of Mesopotamian literary texts usually concentrates on their contents, on their narrative and contextual values, their interpretations based mostly on ad hoc philological analyses of the texts involved.The first is synchronic, dealing with literature within a definite time period to reveals specific interactions during that time.

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