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Title: Al-Maqamat al-Luzumiyah by Abu l-Tahir Muhammad ibn Yusuf al-Tamimi al-Saraqusti ibn al-Astarkuwi
Author: Monroe, James T
Publisher: Brill; Publication Date: 2002
Hardcover; ISBN: 9789004123311
Volumes: 1; Pages: xxii, 626
List Price in Cloth: $311.00 Our price: $265.99
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Although the Arabic maqamah, a branch of the picaresque genre, was much cultivated in the Middle Ages, little is known about it aside from the works of al-Hamadhani and al-hariri, its first two cultivators. This translation of the Maqamat al-luzumiyah by the twelfth-century Andalusi author al-Saraqusti makes available to Western scholars of narrative prose a hitherto little-known but important collection of Arabic maqamat.The "Preliminary Study" places this specific collection in the context of the overall maqama genre, it further places that genre in the contexts both of Arabic and of world literature, exploring the differences between the picaresque genre and the modern novel. It discusses the meaning of the work, shows the way in which it is original within its genre, and establishes its organic unity. Finally, it shows that late and post-classical Arabic literary works such as that of al-Saraqusti, which were composed during the so-called "period of decadence," are not decadent at all, contrary to the opinion prevalent among scholars in the field.Readership: Invented in the tenth century, the maqama is an Arabic branch of the picaresque genre, and has been cultivated until the present. It is a major, if neglected genre of Arabic literature, of which translations and literary studies are rare. This volume makes available, in English, a little-known Andalusi masterpiece of that genre, and further discusses it in literary terms. Therefore, the work will be of interest to scholars of Arabic, Spanish and other literatures, to comparativists, literary historians, critics, and theoreticians.James T. Monroe, Ph.D. (1964) in Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University, is Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. He has published numerous books and articles in the field of Arabic, among them, Islam and the Arabs in Spanish Scholarship (Sixteenth Century to the Present)(Brill, 1970).