Very few examples of medieval Arabic drama have survived, a fact which constitutes a serious loss to our knowledge of Arab literary history. However, we can form some idea of the kind of work of which we have been deprived by examining the three shadow plays preserved for us, those of Ibn Daniyal, the thirteenth century poet and wit. These three plays display in all their vitality, directness and even coarseness the kind of entertainment popular in medieval Egypt. They are literary, social and historical documents, unique of their kind, presenting a veritable gallery of characters, high and low, from all sides of Egyptian life. This edition offers for the first time the complete text, edited over a long period by a number of scholars and provided with a critical apparatus. The language used entails great textual problems yet it rewards study, combining wit, dramatic entertainment and sophisticated poetry. These shadow plays cannot be ignored in any history of Arabic literature.
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- ID: 9781909724624
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