Takhyil is a term from Arabic poetics denoting the evocation of images. It has a broad spectrum of connotations throughout classical philosophical poetics and rhetoric, and it is closely linked to the Greek concept of phantasia. This volume is comprised of annotated translations of key texts on this topic from major philosophers and literary theoreticians, including Alfarabi (al-Farabi), Avicenna (Ibn Sina), Averroes (Ibn Rushd), and 'Abd al-Qahir al-Jurjani. In her preface, the classicist Anne Sheppard relates takhyil to Greek poetics, and in his introduction, Wolfhart Heinrichs traces the development of the term in the Arabic tradition. The second part of the book contains eight studies on takhyil and various aspects of image-evocation and how it relates to musical theory, literary criticism and rhetoric. The opening essay is by Katrin Kohl, a specialist in European poetics, who places takhyil in the wider context of poetic universals.
Geert Jan van Gelder taught Arabic at the University of Groningen until 1998 and is currently Laudian Professor of Arabic, University of Oxford. He has published widely on classical Arabic literature, and his books include: Of Dishes and Discourse: Classical Arabic Literary Representations of Food (2000) and Close Relationships: Incest and Inbreeding in Classical Arabic Literature (2005). MarlU Hammond is a Fellow in Arabic Poetry and Comparative Poetics at St John's College Research Centre. She has published a number of articles on Arabic literature, both classical and modern and is currently co-editing a volume dedicated to her late acdemic advisor, Magda Al-Nowaihi.