Product Description: In spite of the considerable attention devoted to the third/ninth century by scholars of Arabic literature, credit for the elaboration of the notion of adab in its wider meaning of literary culture is given to and concentrated upon only a handful of writers. The disproportionate emphasis, within and outside the Arabic literary-historical and critical tradition, has been at the expense of certain crucial aspects of that tradition.
This book re-evaluates the literary history and landscape of the third/ninth century by demonstrating and emphasizing the significance of an important transformation, namely the one signaled by the transition from a predominantly oral-aural culture to an increasingly writerly, literate, and bookish one. This transformation had a profound influence on the production of learned and literary culture; on the modes of transmission of learning; on the nature and types of literary production; on the nature of scholarly and professional occupations and alliances; and on the ranges of meanings of certain key concepts, such as plagiarism. In order better to understand these, attention is focused on a central but understudied figure, Ibn Abi Tahir Tayfur (d. 280/893), a poet and a prose writer, a schoolmaster and copyist, an 'independent' scholar, the member of important literary circles, and a significant anthologist and chronicler.
This book will appeal, therefore, to anyone interested in deepening their understanding of classical and medieval Arabic literary culture and history, and also to those with an interest in books, writing, authorship, and patronage.