The Medieval Islamic Republic of Letters: Arabic Knowledge Construction (Paperback)Muhsin J. Al-Musawi (author)
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Al-Musawi argues that the massive cultural production of the period was not a random enterprise: instead, it arose due to an emerging and growing body of readers across Islamic lands who needed compendiums, lexicons, and commentaries to engage with scholars and writers. Scholars, too, developed their own networks to respond to each other and to their readers. Rather than addressing only the elite, this culture industry supported a common readership that enlarged the creative space and audience for prose and poetry in standard and colloquial Arabic. Works by craftsmen, artisans, and women appeared side by side with those by distinguished scholars and poets.
Through careful exploration of these networks, The Medieval Islamic Republic of Letters makes use of relevant theoretical frameworks to situate this culture in the ongoing discussion of non-Islamic and European efforts. Thorough, theoretically rigorous, and nuanced, al-Musawi's book is an original contribution to a range of fields in Arabic and Islamic cultural history of the twelfth to eighteenth centuries.
Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press
Number of pages: 456
Weight: 635 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 25 mm
"Brilliantly building off of and challenging Pascale Casanova's World Republic of Letters, Al-Musawi develops an alternative, manageable system through which to see the cultural products of the medieval Arab world in concert with one another. . . The research and immense scope of knowledge demonstrated in this text is invaluable for historians of Arab polities and literature alike."--Comitatus