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The Reader in al-Jāḥiẓ – The Epistolary Rhetoric of an Arabic Prose Master - Edinburgh Scholarship Online
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The Reader in al-Jāḥiẓ: The Epistolary Rhetoric of an Arabic Prose Master

Thomas Hefter


The ninth century essayist, theologian and encyclopedist ‘Amr b. Baḥr al-Jāḥiẓ is one of our richest sources on the intellectual and social life of the early centuries of Islam. He has long been acknowledged as a master of early Arabic prose writing, and his rhetorical inventiveness and provocative introductions, in particular, have been celebrated by readers and scholars alike. Yet only passing notice has been given to the fact that many of his most engaging writings are presented as letters to individuals, even though they are clearly intended to find a broader readership. Passages in which ... More

Keywords: al-Jahiz, Arabic prose, Arabic rhetoric, Epistolarity, Abbasid literature, Kitab al-Bukhala’ or (The) Book of Misers, Arabic prefaces, Arabic letters, double-voiced discourse

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780748692743
Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2015 DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748692743.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Thomas Hefter, author
University of Oklahoma