The Rhetorical Fabric of the Traditional Arabic Qaṣīda in Its Formative Stages
A Comparative Study of the Rhetoric in Two Traditional Poems by ʿAlqama l-Faḥl and Bashshār b. Burd
series: Abhandlungen für die Kunde des Morgenlandes
volume: 98
pages/dimensions: XV, 292 pages - 4 tables - 22 × 14, 5 cm
binding: Paperback
weight: 470
publishing date: 1. Auflage 16.10.2015
price info: 78,00 Eur[D] / 80,20 Eur[A] / 105,00 CHF
ISBN: 978-3-447-10467-8
   78,00 Eur
Ali Ahmad Hussein’s book studies the rhetorical texture in two traditional tripartite poems: one from the pre-Islamic period, composed by ʿAlqama l-Faḥl, and one from the early ʿAbbāsid era, composed by Bashshār b. Burd. The poems have the same structure and deal with the same themes (love, camel-section, and praise or self praise). They also contain almost the same number of verses. A fundamental question is raised: What are the rhetorical figures on which each of the two poets depended in order to compose his poem? This, in turn, leads to a broader question: How different was the badīʿ style (“the rhetorical style”) in the poetry of the two aforementioned eras, assuming the two poems are representative of their times?
The book starts with a survey of the development of the classical rhetorical studies from the 2nd and the 8th century until modern times. The way classical and modern scholars used to analyze a literary text with reference to its rhetoric is also discussed. A clarification of some problematic issues related to the rhetorical terms used in this book follows, before the rhetoric of the two poems is analyzed in detail. The study ends with a discussion of the main thesis: What are the differences in the use of rhetoric between the two poems?