Foremost among the poetic accomplishments of the "Abbasid age was the sudden flowering of a highly rhetorical and strikingly modern style of poetry , termed "badī'." It found its most radical and controversial exponent in the celebrated panegyrist to the courts of al-Ma'mūn and al-Mu'tasim, Abū Tammām Habīb ibn Aws Al- Tā'ī.
The present study offers a reevaluation of the Arabic literary dispute over Abū Tammām and badī'. It then proposes a redefinition of his diwan and of his major anthology, the Hamāsah, as a metapoesis that served to decode the poetic tradition of the pre-Islamic desert for the Islamic 'Abasid caliph and his urbane and urban courtiers and subjects, and conversely, to encode contemporary Arab-Islamic political experiences in classical form.
This book is extensively illustrated with original translations.
Suzanne P. Stetkevych is currently Assistant Professor of Arabic Literature at the Dept. of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, Indiana University - Bloomington. She received her Ph.D. in 1981 in Classical Arabic Literature from the University of Chicago. She has published in the
International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies,
Journal of Semitic Studies and others.
...a pioneering effort... This is a very important book and will be required reading for everyone interested in Abu Tammam and Abbasid poetry in general.'
International Journal of Middle East Studies, 25. '
...eine scharfsinnige und kenntnisreiche Studie, die unser Verständnis der Abbasidendichtung wesentlich fördert.' Renate Jacobi,
Zeitschrift für Geschichte der arabisch-islamischen Wissenschaften, 1993. '
...a mature work free from triviality and graced with a wealth of intelligent explanatory notes.' J. Derek Latham,
Journal of Semitic Studies, 1992. '
...stimulating and neatly produced monograph...original...' Geert Jan van Gelder,
TLS, 1992. '
Il s'agit d'un ouvrage qui contient plusieurs idées intèressantes, des points de vue originaux, des formulations heureuses d'idées…' Lidia Bettini,
Bulletin Critique des Annales Islamologiques, 1994. '
This book by Stetkevych is very stimulating and thought provoking.' A. Schippers,
Bibliotheca Orientalis, 1995. '
In sum, Suzanne Stetkevych's book is a landmark study and an outstanding scholarly achievement.' Peter Heath,
Journal of Near Eastern Studies, 1996.
Scholars and students in the fields of cultural history, middle eastern literatures, and comparitive literature.