A literary history of the Arabs
536 Pages
English
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A literary history of the Arabs

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536 Pages
English

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3>b^'^J^^'7MWHistoryA Literaryof the ArabsByReynold A. Nicholson, M.A.Lecturer in Persian in the University of Cambridge, and sometimeFellow of Trinity CollegeLondonT. Fisher UnwinAdelphi Terrace1907R^^h^Kreserved.)(All rightsPreface' in suchThe term Literary History ' may be interpretedto explaindifferent ways that an author who uses it is boundattached to it.at the outset what particular sense he hasvolume onWhen Mr, Fisher Unwin asked me to contribute aproposal with alacrity,the Arabs to this Series, 1 accepted hisopportunity of makingnot only because I welcomed theArabic history and literature,myself better acquainted withthat I might be ablebut also and more especially in the hopeto compile should serve as a general introductiona work whichto the should neither be too popular forsubject, and whichstudents nor ordinary readers. Its precisetoo scientific forcharacter determined partly by my own predilections andwaspartly the conditions of time and space under which it hadbyto be produced. write critical account of ArabicTo aliterature of question. Brockelmann's invaluablewas out theiswork, which contains over a thousand closely-printed pages,confined biography and bibliography, and does not deal withtotothe historical development of ideas. This, however, seemsmyme the really vital aspect of literary history. It has beenthought,chief aim to sketch in broad outlines what the Arabsmouldedand to indicate as far as possible the ...

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3>b^ '^J^^ '7MW HistoryA Literary of the Arabs By Reynold A. Nicholson, M.A. Lecturer in Persian in the University of Cambridge, and sometime Fellow of Trinity College London T. Fisher Unwin Adelphi Terrace 1907 R^^h^ K reserved.)(All rights Preface ' in suchThe term Literary History ' may be interpreted to explaindifferent ways that an author who uses it is bound attached to it.at the outset what particular sense he has volume onWhen Mr, Fisher Unwin asked me to contribute a proposal with alacrity,the Arabs to this Series, 1 accepted his opportunity of makingnot only because I welcomed the Arabic history and literature,myself better acquainted with that I might be ablebut also and more especially in the hope to compile should serve as a general introductiona work which to the should neither be too popular forsubject, and which students nor ordinary readers. Its precisetoo scientific for character determined partly by my own predilections andwas partly the conditions of time and space under which it hadby to be produced. write critical account of ArabicTo a literature of question. Brockelmann's invaluablewas out the iswork, which contains over a thousand closely-printed pages, confined biography and bibliography, and does not deal withto tothe historical development of ideas. This, however, seems myme the really vital aspect of literary history. It has been thought,chief aim to sketch in broad outlines what the Arabs mouldedand to indicate as far as possible the influences which sadlytheir thought. I am well aware that the picture is noincomplete, that it is full of gaps and blanks admitting of it is notdisguise or apology ; but I hope that, taken as a whole, students ofunlike. Experience has convinced me that young 181380 X PREFACE Arabic, to whom this volume is principally addressed, often find great difficulty in understanding what they read, since they are not in touch with the political, intellectual, and religious notions which are presented to them. The pages of almost every Arabic book abound in familiar allusions to names, events, movements, and ideas, of which Moslems require no Western reader unless heexplanation, but which puzzle the widesthave some general knowledge of Arabian history in the Such a survey is not to be found, Imeaning of the word. single European book and if mine supply thebelieve, in any ; want, however partially and inadequately, I shall feel that my labour has been amply rewarded. Professor E. Browne'sG. Literary History Persia covers to a certain extent the sameof ground, and discusses many important matters belonging to the common stock of Muhammadan history with a store of impossible forlearning and wealth of detail which it would be present written from a differentme to emulate. The volume, smaller scale, not in any clashstandpoint and on a far does way contrary, numerous instanceswith that admirable work ; on the in which my omissions are justified by the factoccur to me Browne has already said all that is necessary.that Professor sometimes insufficiently emphasised the distinctionIf I have history and legend on the one hand, and betweenbetween legend and antiquarian fiction on the other, and ifpopular are made positively which ought to have beenstatements surrounded with a ring-fence of qualifications, the reader will perceive that a purely critical and exact method cannot reason- ably be expected in a compilation of this scope. ofAs regards the choice of topics, I agree with the author a declares that it is harder tofamous Arabic anthology who [ikhtiydru U-kaldm as^abu minselect than compose taWifihi). excused for not doing equalPerhaps an epitomist may be round. To me the literary side of the subjectjustice all than the historical, and I have followed my bentappeals more hesitation for in order to interest others a writer mustwithout ;