Metapoesis in the Arabic Tradition

From Modernists to Muḥdathūn


In Metapoesis in the Arabic Tradition Huda J. Fakhreddine expands the study of metapoesis to include the Abbasid age in Arabic literature. Through this lens that is often used to study modernist poetry of the 20th and the 21st century, this book detects and examines a meta-poetic tendency and a self-reflexive attitude in the poetry of the first century of Abbasid poets. What and why is poetry? are questions the Abbasid poets asked themselves with the same persistence and urgency their modern successor did. This approach to the poetry of the Abbasid age serves to refresh our sense of what is “modernist” or “poetically new” and detach it from chronology.

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Huda J. Fakhreddine is Assistant Professor of Arabic Literature at the University of Pennsylvania. A graduate of the American University of Beirut (2004), she received her Ph.D. (2011) from Indiana University, Bloomington.
"...Fahkreddine’s analysis in Metapoesis in the Arabic Tradition is simultaneously challenging and inviting. The extensive footnotes and bibliographical entries attest to thorough familiarity with the field; so does the evident mastery of the comparative perspective that informs various aspects of the study. The inclusion of the original Arabic version of the poems, and Fakhreddine’s grounding of concepts, commentaries, and relevant circumstantial locutions alongside the English translation, adds another singular distinction to this pioneering study. On all accounts, this book qualifies as a primer for serious students of the challenging subject of metapoesis in Arabic poetry throughout the ages." Muhammad Siddiq in Journal of Arabic Literature 49 (2018).
All interested in Arabic poetry and poetry in general, especially under the headings of modernism or modernizing projects. Relevant subjects are: Modern and Medieval Arabic poetry, Comparative Modernism, and World Literature.