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Yehuda Ha-Levi's Attitude Toward Arabic And Hebrew Secular Poetry And Literature In The Kuzari

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Chapter Summary

Yehuda Ha-Levi brings to a close the classical period of Hebrew poetry in Arab-Muslim Spain, even though he himself was born and lived in Christian Spain. Ha-Levi's relationship with Arabic poetry was a complex one, however. Even as he was attracted to Arabic poetry, he also held a distinctly negative opinion of it, which he expressed in various ways. This chapter discusses the views expressed in the Kuzari in relation to secular poetry and literature. Several scholars have already addressed Ha-Levi's criticism of Arabic metre, as expressed in the Kuzari, part II, paragraphs 66-81. The chapter examines the important testimony of Ha-Levi's young friend Šelomo ibn Far un. In summary, the greatest challenger of Hebrew poetry in Spain and its literary and thematic value was none other than he who is considered as its greatest laureate - Ha-Levi.

Keywords: Šelomo ibn Far un; Arab-Muslim Spain; Arabic poetry; Hebrew poetry; Kuzari; Yehuda Ha-Levi



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