A Comparative Study of Longinus and Al-Jurjan
The Interrelationships Between Medieval Arabic Literary Criticism and Graeco-Roman Poetics. Studies in Comparative Literature S. No. 63
Consolidating and expanding arguments and conclusions he has made in two articles in English and a book in Arabic, Abdulla investigates the similarities in the ideas and critical criteria of two the important critics. Longinus wrote Peri Hupsous (On the Sublime) in the first or third century AD. Al-Qadi al Jurjani wrote Al-Wasata bayna al-Mutanabbi
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What Reviewers Are Saying
"Finding the "parallel" affinity between Arabic poetics and the atypical(non-Aristotelian Longinus' view, the author establishes a "shared canon" of certain concepts and aesthetic modes. The conclusion is that emphasis on a single line of poetry and the pleasure it gives the listener are unique attributes of Arabic poets. This underscores, of course, the extraction by early Arab neo-Hellenists of Sophocles and his sublime lines from his plots which hatched them. Further, modern Arabic poetry festivals have revealed vividly the audiences' exhilaration over poets' performance-readings of their sublime lines. Still further, one recalls the deep affinity the great modern Arab poet Badr Shakir as-Sayyab with the sublimity of T.S. Eliot's lines. Adnan K. Abdulla has stirred an important debate with his eloquent book which may produce for us a host of other "parallel studies," cross-fertilizations, and literary affinities." - Professor Herbert Mason "The confluence of the two works under consideration in Professor Abdulla's enjoyable and informative book is interesting in a number of ways. Although they were originally written at relatively disparate times, in conjunction with different bodies of artistic endeavors, and with different purposes, they reveal to us not only two critics, but also sophisticated and parallel thinking about the means, the reception, and the origins of great art that strikes us suddenly and totally..... The expertise of both al-Jurjani and Longinus is strikingly sophisticated, especially so the more we understand the milieu out of which they both emerge. The present work is a fine presentation of ideas that should increase an awareness and understanding of that sophistication, in works that could not possibly exist in an intellectual vacuum. They have to be a part of a culture which in itself is sophisticated. We "know" the Graeco-Roman milieu is sophisticated, but most are unaware of the extent of the sophistication of medieval Arabic thought. Al-Jurjani's treatise makes us more aware. An understanding of each culture is conducive to further understanding of what kind of thinking has occurred, and is still pertinent. Professor Abdulla is eminently suited as a bridge between the two critical treatises, and treatises which link different cultures, which in themselves share qualities that have influenced each other..... I hope that readers will enjoy this book, and learn as much from it as I have." - (From the Commendatory Preface) H. James Jensen, Professor Emeritus, Indiana University"