Oral Poetry and Narratives from Central Arabia, Volume 1 Poetry of ad-Dindan

A Bedouin Bard in Southern Najd. An Edition with Translation and Introduction

This work presents the complete collection of oral poetry by ad-Dindān, a bedouin poet of the Duwāsir tribe in southern Najd, transcribed and translated on the basis of taped recordings. The text is representative of a poetic tradition which has remained remarkably close to the desert poetry of the early classical age. An extensive glossary, including detailed cross-references to the classical Arabic vocabulary, completes this edition.
The introduction describes Dindān's somewhat anomalous position in local society as a result of his stubborn attachment to nomadism, his fierce artistic temper, and his unreconstructed bedouin ethos. It also discusses the composition of oral poetry, the dīwān's themes and its place in the Najdi tradition, the impact of literacy on the poet's oral work, and the prosodic and linguistic features of the text.

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P. Marcel Kurpershoek studied Arabic language and literature at the University of Leiden and has served in several Arab countries as a member of the Netherlands Foreign Service. He is the author of The Short Stories of Yūsūf Idrīs (Brill, 1981) and Deep Inside Arabia (1992, in Dutch), a travelogue and account of his fieldwork among the Bedouins of Saudi Arabia.
' ...extremely informative and very well produced, and [...] will be of great interest and usefulness both to the student of Arabian oral literature and to the dialectologist.' Bruce Ingham, Bulletin of the SOAS, 1995. ' ...of great value not only because it deals with oral tradition from a region which is not easily accessible, even to orientalists, but also because for the very first time it presents the complete diwan of the oral poetry of ad-Dindan in a competent way.' Barbara Ostafin, Folia Orientalia, 1994.
All those interested in oral literature and traditions, classical and modern Arabic literature, Bedouin culture, and the sociology and dialectology of the Arabian peninsula.