The Book of Strangers: Medieval Arabic Graffiti on the Theme of Nostalgia (Princeton Series on the Middle East)

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9781558762152: The Book of Strangers: Medieval Arabic Graffiti on the Theme of Nostalgia (Princeton Series on the Middle East)

A 10th century Iraqi took to collecting verse graffiti left behind by travellers. The result of his pastime was a little book that conjures up his nostalgic mood in a manner rarely attempted in Arabic literature. This work offers a translation of his work and discusses its cultural context.

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About the Author:

Shmuel Moreh, Hebrew University, is the translator of Al-Jabarti's Napoleon in Egypt and author of numerous books. Patricia Crone, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, is the author of Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam and other books.

Review:

"There are more entertaining tidbits, such as the report of a frightening treasure hunt in a deserted castle. . . . A tragic prose inscription, carved with a knife by a shipwrecked sailor on a ship's rudder, was once found near inland Najaf, in Iraq; it was considered conclusive proof of the sea once having covered much of Iraq. There is an amusing story of the poet Abu'l-Hindi and his drunken companions who only met properly after ten days, having been intoxicated alternately; the story is quoted because the poet described the event in a poem written on the wall of an inn. Very readable, too, is the remarkably free behaviour of a Christian girl towards the Caliph al-Mutawakkil who visits a monastery. . .Patricia Crone and Shmuel Moreh, ideally matched as historian and literary historian . . . have given us an exemplary translation. . . . readable and well documented." -- Times Literary Supplement TLS

"This is an excellent work, bringing to life a little-known facet of medieval Arab literature" -- MESA Bulletin (Middle East Studies Association)

"This is an excellent work, bringing to life a little-known facet of medieval Arab literature" -- MESA Bulletin

Translated from tenth-century Arabic, this book is a collection of verse-graffiti from Iraqi caves and folklore as well as a discussion of its background and authenticity, the book was supposedly brought together by a lonely Iraqi who surrounded himself with nostalgic verse in order to assuage his own loneliness. The result is a combination of emotion and great literature that speaks not only to the sentiments of the time, but also the manner in which people chose to express themselves. This book is therefore significant both as an historical document and as a collection of beautiful verse, and serves as a symbol of tenth-century Arab culture. -- Middle East Journal

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Abu Al-Faraj Al-Isbahani (Editor), Shmuel Moreh (Editor), Patricia Crone (Editor)
Published by Markus Wiener Pub (1999)
ISBN 10: 1558762159 ISBN 13: 9781558762152
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Published by Markus Wiener Pub (1999)
ISBN 10: 1558762159 ISBN 13: 9781558762152
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Book Description Markus Wiener Pub, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P111558762159

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