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“Arabic Literary Salons in the Islamic Middle Ages is a unique contribution to understanding how poetry and literature were received in medieval Islam. By brilliantly situating salons both in the context of their predecessors and in comparable European and Persian traditions, Ali shows how the muj− alas− at tradition shaped, and was shaped by, people from all ages and walks of life. His careful study makes this tradition, with its vibrant performative dimension, come to life for a contemporary audience.” dale f. eickelman, dartmouth college “This important book makes a unique contribution to the social history of Arabic literature, literacy practices, and historical consciousness. Its arguments are built on meticulous, theoretically innovative readings of some key Abbasid works in their contexts of composition and salon performance. It will be of great value to Arabists and to scholars of world comparative literature, the ethnography of literacy, and historiography in and beyond medieval studies.” margaret a. mills, ohio state university “Samer Ali has written a wonderful, very accessible book that addresses important aesthetic phenomena of the Arab Middle Ages, especially those emanating from the heart of the Abbasid empire. A major contribution is his inclusion of new or barely considered manuscript material as well as discussion of the social dynamics of everyday life in the Arab Middle East and North Africa, little known by most Westerners.” sabra webber, ohio state university SAMER M. ALI is associate professor of Arabic Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. University of Notre Dame Press NOTRE DAME, IN 46556 UNDPRESS.ND.EDU cover design: Mindy Basinger Hill cover image: Egypt, Cairo, House of Sitt (Lady) Wasila, 17th century, view of the maq’ad (loggia overlooking inner courtyard). Photo courtesy of the author. 1 Part Title Arabic Literary Salons in the Islamic Middle Ages Poetry, Public Performance, and the Presentation of the Past Samer M. Ali ...


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