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Literature and the Islamic Court : Cultural Life Under Al-sahib Ibn Abbad (Hardcover) (Erez Naaman)
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Courts were the most important frameworks for the production, performance, and evaluation of literature in medieval Islamic civilization. Courts could offer an artist financial support from interested patrons, as well as artistic prestige, and the most successful courts attracted literary people from across the region. The court of the vizier and literary person al-?a?ib Ibn ?Abbad (326-385/938-995) in western Iran stands out as one of the most remarkable examples for a medieval Islamic court with an intensive, flourishing, and sophisticated literary activity in Arabic (and, to a lesser extent, in Persian).
Literature and the Islamic Court examines the literary activity at the court of al- ?a?ib and sheds light on its functional logic. The courts were where literary activity took shape according to their specific rules and conventions, and, through detailed analysis of one of the most famed Islamic courts, this book addresses the key issues at the heart of courtly activity, including the pattern of patronage, selection, performance, competition, genres as productive moulds, the hegemonic literary taste and the courtly habitus. It explores the significance of the courts as institutions that were truly at the centre of literary production in Arabic, and uncovers the complexities of the Patron-protégé-production triangle around which this enterprise was built.
Using primary medieval Arabic sources, including adab works, chronicles, diwans of poetry, and collections of letters, this book offers a comprehensive analysis of literary Islamic courts and as such is of key interest to students and scholars of Arabic literature and literary criticism, Islamic history and sociology and medieval cultures.