For the first time this book provides an examination of the impulses that went into the making of literary criticism in medieval Arab-Islamic culture. It traces the resulting characteristics of this area of intellectual enquiry and grounds the field of Arabic literary criticism in its social, intellectual and cultural context (3rd/9th century to the 5th/11th century).
Wen-chin Ouyang is Reader in Arabic Literature at SOAS. She is author of Literary Criticism in Medieval Arabic Islamic Culture: The Making of a Tradition (Edinburgh University Press, 1997), editor of New Perspectives on the Arabian Nights (Routledge, 2005) and co-editor (with Stephen Hart) of Companion to Magical Realism (Tamesis, 2005).
Knowledge and cultural dialects; function of poetry in medieval Arab-Islamic society; beginnings; fanfare of controversy; against all odds - the making of a tradition.