Stetkevych, Jaroslav: Zephyrs of Najd
Arabs have traditionally considered classical Arabic poetry, together with the Qur'an, as one of their supreme cultural accomplishments. Taking a comparatist approach, Jaroslav Stetkevych attempts in this book to integrate the classical Arabic lyric into an enlarged understanding of lyric poetry as a genre.
Stetkevych concentrates on the "places of lost bliss" that furnish the dominant motif in the lyric-elegiac opening section (nasib) of the classic Arab code, or qusidah. In defining the Arabic lyrical genre, he shows how pre-Islamic lamentations over abandoned campsites evolved, in Arabo-Islamic mystical poetry, into expressions of spiritual nostalgia. Stetkevych also draws intriguing parallels between the highlands of Najd in Arabic poetry and Arcadia in the European tradition. He concludes by exploring the degree to which the pastoral-paradisiacal archetype of the nasib pervades Arabic literary perception, from the pre-Islamic ode through the Thousand and One Nights and later texts.
Enhanced by Stetkevych's sensitive translations of all the Arabic texts discussed, The Zephyrs of Najd brings the classical Arabic ode fully into the purview of contemporary literary and critical discourse.
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The Qasidah as SonataThe Nasib as Sonata Form
Toward the Ternary Archetype
Hassan Ibn Thabit
Silences and Voices of the Desert from
The Topology of Nostalgia
Toward a Cosmic Pastoral Space
Perceived Lost Remembered
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Abbasid abodes Abu Nuwas Abu Tammam Ahmad al-Ma'arif al-Nabighah al-Qays al-saba al-Shfr allegory ancient Arabian Arabic poetry Arcadia archaic archetypal become Bedouin Beirut beloved Cairo caliph chap classical Arabic classical Arabic qasidah closure commentary context cosmic pastoral courtly critical desert Diwan East Wind elegiac elegy etymological evocation explicit formal garden genre happiness Hassan Ibn Thabit heart Ibid Ibn Abl Ibn al-Farid Ibn Khafajah Ibn Qutaybah Ibn Zaydun idyll Imru Islamic journey Khawarnaq landscape Layla liminal literary lyrical Majnun meaning medieval melancholy memory metaphor mind Misr missive mood motif Mu'allaqah Muhammad mystic myth mythopoesis Najd nasib night nightly once Paradise place-names poem poem's poet's poetic qur'anic rahil reference reverie rhetorical ruins semantic semiotics sense Sharh she-camel sonata form sorrow stars structure Surah symbolic ternary textual thematic theme tion tradition trans ultimately Umayyad University Press Usamah Ibn Munqidh verse vision yearning zephyr