The Penguin Anthology of Classical Arabic Literature

Front Cover
Robert Irwin
Penguin Adult, May 25, 2006 - Literary Collections - 462 pages
1 Review
Spanning the fifth century to the sixteenth, and ranging from Afghanistan to Spain, this unique collection provides a profound insight into the sheer vitality and depth of Classical Arabic literature. From the earliest surviving fragments of The Thousand and One Nights to the elegant beauty and profound power of the Qur an - believed by the Islamic faith to contain the actual words of Allah - it includes translated extracts from all the major works of the period, alongside many less well-known but equally fascinating pieces. Exploring such traditional themes as lovesick yearning and fated doom, and considering subjects as diverse as the etiquette of falling in love with slave-girls and the terrors of the sea, this compelling anthology of poetry and prose brilliantly illuminates a body of writing that has been unjustly neglected by the west for centuries.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - asim - LibraryThing

Not much to say; it's a dense book that I read many moons ago. Not the best for reproduction of period poetical forms, as it talks more about the cultural aspects of the form than about the poetry itself. Focuses on early Islam, up to 'Abbasid era. Read full review

Night and horses and the desert: an anthology of classical Arabic literature

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This ambitious anthology presents a wide range of classical Arabic poetry and prose, covering the fifth to the 16th centuries from Afghanistan to Andalusia, Spain, in a single volume. The task is even ... Read full review

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About the author (2006)

Robert Irwin read Modern History at Oxford and taught Medieval History at the University of St Andrews. He is the author of The Middle East and the Middle Ages, The Arabian Nights: A Companion, Islamic Art, and The Alhambra (2004). He has also published six novels, of which the most recent is Satan Wants Me. He reviews for a wide range of periodicals and is a director of a publishing company). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Fellow of the London Institute of Pataphysics.

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