This third volume in the author's series
Oral Poetry & Narratives from Central Arabia presents and analyses the work of four contemporary Bedouin poets of the Dawāsir tribe in southern Najd. The introductory part discusses the poetry within the context of the Najdi oral tradition, the poets' role in tribal society, and their mirroring of this society's self-image against the background of its rapid economic, social and political transformation, and its relation with the Saudi State.
It is followed by the Arabic Text of the poems in transcription, based on taped records, with the English translation on the facing page. This is complemented by a substantial glossary, cross-referenced to the Arabic Text, other glossaries and works on the Najdi dialect and poetic idiom, as well as corresponding Classical Arabic lexical materials.
P. Marcel Kurpershoek is director for the Middle East & North Africa in the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Professor for Politics and Literature in the Arab World at Leiden University. He is the author of
The Short Stories of Yusuf Idris (Brill, 1981),
The Poetry of ad-Dindan, a Bedouin Bard in Southern Najd (Brill, 1994),
The Story of a Desert Knight, the Legend of Shlewih al-‘Atawi and other ‘Utaybah Heroes (Brill,, 1995), and a number of works on Arabia and the Middle East in Dutch.
Kurpershoek's work will be of great interest and usefulness both to the students of Arabian oral literature and to the dialectologist.' Bruce Ingham,
This book is a must for a wide variety of readers: social and cultural anthropologists of every hue, but especially of Arabia; literary historians of Arabic; and, last but not least, Arabic dialectologists.' Çlive Holes,
Journal of the American Oriental Society, 1998. '
Cet ouvrage estera un témoin précieux d'un monde qui bientôt s'en sera allé!' Claude Gilliot,
Revue des Sciences Philophiques et Theologiques, 1999. '
In sum, this is another superbly executed addition to Kurpershoek's growing oeuvre on Arabian oral culture, imbued with the same understanding of how ancient literary themes and structures are subtly bent to the personalities and outlook of modern poets, and shaped by the pressures fo modern Arabian society and memories of its history.' Clive Holes,
Journal of Royal Asiatic Society, 2000.