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Materials For The Study Of Muslim Humor

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Chapter Summary

Many have been the attempts to define humor. This chapter presents examples of the finest, most lastingly human humor which only in very few respects are at odds with our own feelings and experience. It is true that conditions for undertaking a historical analysis are not altogether favorable, since the earliest material on Muslim humor is not directly preserved and later authors who preserved much material for us were not interested in any historical point of view when they wrote their books. There exists a tremendously large amount of jokes and anecdotes in Arabic literature. Much of it is anonymous and ascribed to such stock figures as the clever or dull-witted Bedouin, husbands-and-wives, judges, and members of all the different professions, crafts, and age groups. The contents of adab works is to a large extent made up from those stories which were greatly enjoyed by numerous readers at all times.

Keywords: adab works; anecdotes; Arabic literature; jokes; Muslim humor

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