4 April 2017
The book offers the first study that compares ancient Egyptian literary devices with their Arabic counterparts. The book demonstrates how linguistic kinship can form a fruitful standpoint for exploring the literary devices of related languages. It offers modern literary researchers, through multiple layers of comparisons, a chance to establish a secure platform, addressing broader literary questions of ancient writings. At the same time, the study takes into account the pictorial nature of the core hieroglyphic script, which provided ancient Egyptian writers with many visual elements that have played a relatively minor role in modern treatments, and where again the calligraphy of Arabic script may offer new stimuli to rediscover the differences between the alphabetic scripts and the Ancient Egyptian language, in terms of their visual poetics.
The book is the only work fully dedicated to carrying out analyses, critical evaluations, and developed a taxonomy of the Arabic literary device Jinās; one of the most important literary devices present throughout medieval and modern Arabic poetry, literary prose, songs, and proverbs. The book has incorporated the major discussions of Arabic Jinās, both medieval and modern, in comparison with the Western terms: paronomasia, pun, quibble, calembour, etc. The textual analytic method as proposed here is also intended to provide an initiative, and an innovative methodology, for tackling many further problematic areas of Egyptian literariness from an Arabic perspective.
The book challenges the academic commonplace that Athenian or Western literary traditions are foundational to understanding non-Western literary systems, also raising questions about the application of Western rhetorical concepts to these ancient non-Western cultures. It proposes new postcolonial ground for debate about the use of Western literary terms and concepts as a universal language. The objective of this study is, therefore, a double one: to radicalize Eurocentric methods through the deployment of Arabic literary and critical methods and to refresh the study of ancient Egyptian and Arabic literature.
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