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By Kathleen Kuiper

The Islamic global includes a wealthy culture of outstanding literature and visible arts that stretches again for hundreds of years. At a number of instances, those arts have influenced— and been encouraged by—Western literary and creative traditions. but so much Westerners understand as little approximately Islamic literature and visible arts as they do approximately Islam itself. well known works corresponding to The Thousand and One Nights and obscure notions of tiled mosques or lavish palaces (frequently derived from Western fiction) are frequently the level of Westerners’ wisdom of Islamic arts. Viewing Islamic artwork throughout the lens of such works is approximately similar to attempting to comprehend the entire scope of Western literature and visible arts via well known romance novels and fairy-tale castles. The strategy is neither life like nor reasonable. This unenlightened view used to be shattered with the tragic occasions of September eleven, 2001, whilst many americans changed their naive notions of the unique Orient with an outright rejection of a often unknown faith and all its worshippers. this perspective might be extra exacerbated by way of the unfairness a few believe towards the humanities often, that artwork has no connection to everyday life and that it serves no valuable function. but if these notions are exact, why are the humanities so in detail interwoven with human background? as a matter of fact that the production and appreciation of artwork is a vital part of what it skill to be human. Tens of hundreds of thousands of years ago—long sooner than writing existed—people painted photographs on cave partitions and carved small figures. ahead of there has been writing, there has been spoken language, which storytellers used to create an oral culture that was once an important technique of transmitting the elemental rules of human society and associations. the simplest between them may perhaps enthrall audiences with lengthy, complicated stories. After the discovery of writing, a lot of those tales and poems have been recorded, changing into many of the first works of literature....................................

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Extra resources for Islamic Art, Literature, and Culture (The Islamic World)

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Tajik literature is basically 48 7 Islamic Literatures 7 Persian, both as it is written today in Tajikistan and as it existed in earlier forms, when it was indistinguishable from classical Persian. After the Russification of the country, and especially after the 1917 Revolution, a new literature emerged that was part and parcel of the former Soviet Union’s literature. The same can be said, by and large, about the literatures of other Muslim Turkic peoples of Central Asia. Other Languages Smaller fragments of Islamic literature, in Chinese, are found in China (which has quite a large Muslim population) and in the Philippines.

Because of these features, it is difficult for foreigners and modern Arabs alike to appreciate fully the artistic qualities of early Arabic poetry. Imagery is precise, and descriptions of natural phenomena are detailed. The sense of universal applicability is lacking, however, and the comparatively simple literary techniques of simile and metaphor predominate. The imaginative power that was later to be the hallmark of Arabic poetry under Persian influence had not yet become evident. The strikingly rich vocabulary of classical Arabic, as well as its sophisticated structure, is matched by highly elaborate metrical schemes, based on quantity.

One branch of literature in Spain and North Africa matured in perfect harmony with the classical ideals of the Muslim East although its masters, during the 11th and 12th centuries, invented a few strophic forms unknown to classical Arabic poetry. In modern times, North African Muslim literature—mainly from Algeria 45 7 Islamic Art, Literature, and Culture 7 and Morocco—often uses French as a means of expression, since the tradition of Arabic writing was interrupted by the French occupation in the 19th century and has had to be built up afresh.

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