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Exploring Arab Folk Literature$
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Pierre Cachia

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780748640867

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748640867.001.0001

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Arabic Literatures, ‘Elite’ and ‘Folk’ – Junctions and Disjunctions

Arabic Literatures, ‘Elite’ and ‘Folk’ – Junctions and Disjunctions

(p.3) 1 Arabic Literatures, ‘Elite’ and ‘Folk’ – Junctions and Disjunctions
Exploring Arab Folk Literature

Pierre Cachia

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter notes that language has remained the key constituent in the Arabs' self-view and self-esteem. In early Islam, when Arabs had expanded their reach and had the opportunity to evaluate and assimilate the achievements of other people, we find in various contexts a readiness to credit each group with high attainments in one field of human endeavour. However, the Arabs are always said to be supreme in eloquence and command of language. This chapter discusses Arabic literature, with particular emphasis on the ‘elite’ and ‘folk’ forms of Arabic literature. It includes linguistic bifurcation, pre-Islamic poetry, Andalusian literature, and the interactions of elitist literature and common folk literature.

Keywords:   Arabs' self-view, Arabic literature, Islam, pre-Islamic poetry, folk forms, Andalusian literature, linguistic bifurcation, common folk literature

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