The Reader in al-Jahiz: The Epistolary Rhetoric of an Arabic Prose Master (Edinburgh Studies in Classical Arabic Literature EUP)

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Explores the intricately crafted rhetorical strategies used by al-Jahiz in his letters

The 9th-century essayist, theologian and encyclopedist 'Amr b. Bahr al-Jahiz has long been acknowledged as a master of early Arabic prose writing. Many of his most engaging writings were clearly intended for a broad readership but were presented as letters to individuals. Despite the importance and quantity of these letters, surprisingly little academic notice has been paid to them.

Now, Thomas Hefter takes a new approach in interpreting some of al-Jahiz's 'epistolary monographs'. By focusing on the varying ways in which he wrote to the addressee, Hefter shows how al-Jahiz shaped his conversations on the page in order to guide (or manipulate) his actual readers and encourage them to engage with his complex materials.

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Thomas Hefter is Assistant Professor of Arabic at the University of Oklahoma. He earned his PhD in Classical Arabic Literature from the University of Chicago, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. He has taught at the American University in Cairo and the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.

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"There is no doubt that this book fills an important lacuna in scholarship and will be of great help to understand the complicated narrative of al-Jahiz and, in general, early Abbasid literature." -- Ignacio Sanchez, Journal of Islamic Studies


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Book Description EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY PRESS, United Kingdom, 2014. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This book explores the intricately crafted rhetorical strategies used by al-Jahiz in his letters. The 9th-century essayist, theologian and encyclopedist Amr b. Bahr al-Jahiz has long been acknowledged as a master of early Arabic prose writing. One of his literary techniques was to write for a broad audience but present his text as a letter to an individual. Many of his most engaging pieces were written in this way, but surprisingly little academic attention has been paid to them. Now, Thomas Hefter takes a new approach in interpreting some of al-Jahiz s epistolary monographs . By focussing on the varying ways in which he wrote to the addressee, Hefter shows how al-Jahiz shaped his conversations on the page in order to guide (or manipulate) his actual readers and encourage them to engage with his complex materials. It looks at letters from one of the most unique minds of the Abbasid era that cover sectarian and ethnic rivalries, ethical questions, intoxicating beverages and daily life. It relates al-Jahiz s experiments with the letter frame to his views on occupations, human geography and other issues of his day. It examines the role of self-parody in al-Jahiz s fictional conversations with his addresses. It explores the rich interplay of contending voices. Seller Inventory # AA79780748692743

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Book Description EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY PRESS, United Kingdom, 2014. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This book explores the intricately crafted rhetorical strategies used by al-Jahiz in his letters. The 9th-century essayist, theologian and encyclopedist Amr b. Bahr al-Jahiz has long been acknowledged as a master of early Arabic prose writing. One of his literary techniques was to write for a broad audience but present his text as a letter to an individual. Many of his most engaging pieces were written in this way, but surprisingly little academic attention has been paid to them. Now, Thomas Hefter takes a new approach in interpreting some of al-Jahiz s epistolary monographs . By focussing on the varying ways in which he wrote to the addressee, Hefter shows how al-Jahiz shaped his conversations on the page in order to guide (or manipulate) his actual readers and encourage them to engage with his complex materials. It looks at letters from one of the most unique minds of the Abbasid era that cover sectarian and ethnic rivalries, ethical questions, intoxicating beverages and daily life. It relates al-Jahiz s experiments with the letter frame to his views on occupations, human geography and other issues of his day. It examines the role of self-parody in al-Jahiz s fictional conversations with his addresses. It explores the rich interplay of contending voices. Seller Inventory # AA79780748692743

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