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Weeping Over The Poetic Past: Poetry Into Prose In Al-Saraqusṭīʾs Qayrawan Maqāma

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Chapter Summary

This chapter looks at the Qayrawan maqāma's development and examines in it the themes of loss, nostalgia, and cultural displacement to show how one Andalusī writer, Abū al-Ṭāhir Muḥammad b. Yūsuf al-Saraqusṭī (d. 1143), manipulated the genre to express these themes. It then focuses on the ways in which the maqāma-through its influences, structure, and language-places itself within the Arabic literary tradition, and how al-Saraqusṭī treats traditional themes and uses archetypal poetic symbols to express and define his place in that tradition as a twelfth century Andalusī. In this analysis, poetry's relationship both as a competitor to, and integral part of the maqāma are examined and explored.

Keywords: Abū al-Ṭāhir Muḥammad b. Yūsuf al-Saraqusṭī; Arabic literary tradition; Arabic poetry; Qayrawan maqama



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