qaṣīdah and the
qiṭʿah are well known to scholars of classical Arabic literature, but the
maqṭūʿ, a form of poetry that emerged in the thirteenth century and soon became ubiquitous, is as obscure today as it was once popular. These poems circulated across the Arabo-Islamic world for some six centuries in speech, letters, inscriptions, and, above all, anthologies. Drawing on more than a hundred unpublished and published works,
How Do You Say “Epigram” in Arabic? is the first study of this highly popular and adaptable genre of Arabic poetry. By addressing this lacuna, the book models an alternative comparative literature, one in which the history of Arabic poetry has as much to tell us about epigrams as does Greek.
Adam Talib, DPhil (2014) Oxford, teaches Arabic language and literature at Durham University and is an assistant editor of the Journal of Arabic Literature. Before joining Durham, he taught at the American University in Cairo from 2012–2017.
Table of contents
Note to Readers Acknowledgments List of Abbreviations
Preamble: Growth and Graft
1 A Bounding Line 2 The Sum of its Parts
Arabic Poetry, Greek Terminology
Preliminary Remarks 3 Epigrams in the World 4 Hegemonic Presumptions and Atomic Fallout 5 Epigrams in Parallax
Appendix Annotated Bibliography of Unpublished Sources Sources Index
All interested in the history of Arabic poetry. Scholars and students of comparative and world literature, epigram, lyric poetry, and genre.