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Title: Description in Classical Arabic Poetry: Wasf, Ekphrasis, and Interarts Theory
Author: Sumi, Akiko Motoyoshi
Publisher: Brill; Publication Date: 2004
Hardcover; ISBN: 9789004129221
Volumes: 1; Pages: xviii, 258
List Price in Cloth: $137.00 Our price: $115.99
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This volume deals with wasf or description which is one of the salient characteristics of the qasidah (classical Arabic poetry) tradition. The Introduction offers the theoretical background of wasf and ekphrasis ("verbal representation of non-verbal texts" in its modern sense) that can be considered a Western counterpart of wasf. The main part of the book examines descriptive passages in a selected group of Arabic qasidah from different ages (Jahili, Abbasid, Andalusian) with the motifs of horses, bees and honey-gathering, visual artifacts, performance of song, and architecture. Approaching the Arabic ode in light of modern Western critical theory, including the theories of ekphrasis and of interarts studies, this work is original and innovative, so it leads to a new understanding of a major form of traditional Arabic poetry.