Arabic Belles Lettres
Arabic Belles Lettres brings together ten studies that shed light on important questions in the study of Arabic language, literature, literary history, and writerly culture. The volume is divided into three sections. Early Narratives comprises: Joseph Lowry on the Qur'an’s allusive legal language; Abed el-Rahman Tayyara on matrilineal lineages in the context of Badr and Uhud; Ruqayya Khan on the ramifications of public courtship in 'Udhrī romances; and Philip Kennedy on firāsah (reading for signs and traces) in medieval narrative. Medieval Authors comprises: Shawkat Toorawa on ͑Ubaydallāh ibn Ahmad ibn Abī Tāhir’s History of Baghdād; Maurice Pomerantz and Bilal Orfali on Ibn Fāris and the origins of the maqāmah genre; Everett Rowson on al-Tawhīdī and his predecessors; and Ghayde Ghraowi on al-Khafājī and his Rayhānat al-alibbā'. Modern Egypt comprises: Roger Allen on a cultural controversy in the Cairo newspapers of 1902; and Devin Stewart on preposterous boasting and ingenuity in modern Egyptian Arabic. This illuminating collection is a must read for anyone interested in Arabic literature.