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THE PERFORMATIVITY OF IBN AL-MUQAFFA 'S KALĪLA WA-DIMNA AND AL-MAQĀMĀT AL-LUZŪMIYYA OF AL-SARAQUSTĪ

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While not written for performance, works of medieval Arabic literature such as Ibn al-Muqaffa''s Kalīla wa-Dimna and al-Saraqustī's al-Maqāmāt al-luzūmiyya are extremely performative in nature, in that their structure is determined by representation of acts of performance. This is achieved either explicitly, by describing the performer or storyteller in the act of performing, or implicitly, by citing a performance carried out as part of a chain of narrative transmission, as in the isnād of a hadīt. The ways in which narrative performance is represented in these texts are reflective of the culture of performance and attitudes toward different types of performances that obtained in medieval Islam. Ibn al-Muqaffa' was a pioneer in the introduction of literary prose narrative to Arabic literature. He paved the way for later innovators such as al-Hamadhānī and al-Saraqustī, who brought literary fiction to Arabic literature by adapting traditionally accepted modes of oral narrative transmission into literary prose.

10.1163/157006403764980613
/content/journals/10.1163/157006403764980613
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/content/journals/10.1163/157006403764980613
2003-04-01
2016-12-05

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