From rulers to uninvited guests, from women to thieves, from dreams to names, from blindness to torture - in a series of ground-breaking studies, Power, Marginality, and the Body in Medieval Islam explores the multi-layered and complex textual universe of medieval Islam. The power of the ruler sits alongside the power of the trickster, as games of detection and verbal erudition are displayed for the edification of the reader. Humour is not lacking either as male and female characters indulge in various forms of wit that redefine and recast the sacred. For much of this world, the body reigns supreme: not only in illness and miracle cures but in displays of transgression and torture. Covering the range of literature from sacred text to history, biography and anecdote, this book provides a stimulating analysis of the world of medieval Islamic mentalités.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface; Islamic biography; Controversy and its effects in the biographical tradition of al-KhatÃ®b al-BaghdÃ¢dÃ®; The interrelationship of onomastic elements: isms, dÃ®n-names, and kunyas in the 9th-century A.H.; Pour une rhétorique onomastique: les noms des aveugles chez as-SafadÃ®; Dreams, the blind, and the semiotics of the biographical notice; Mentalités and marginality: blindness and MamlÃ»k civilization; The classical Arabic detective; Texts and tortures: the reign of al-Mu`tadid and the construction of historical meaning; Classical Arabic crime narratives: thieves and thievery in Adab literature; YÃ»suf ibn `Abd al-HÃ¢dÃ® and his autograph of the WuqÃ»` al-BalÃ¢' bil-Bukhl wal-BukhalÃ¢; Structure and organization in a monographic Adab work: al-TatfÃ®l of al-KhatÃ®b al-BaghdÃ¢dÃ®; MaqÃ¢mÃ¢t and Adab: al-MaqÃ¢ma al-MadÃ®riyya of al-HamadhÃ¢nÃ®; Playing with the sacred: religious intertext in Adab discourse; Index.
Fedwa Malti-Douglas is College Professor and The Martha C. Kraft Professor of Humanities at Indiana University, Bloomington, where she is also Adjunct Professor of Law in the School of Law. She is the author of numerous scholarly books and the winner of the 1997 Kuwait Prize for Arts and Letters. Her recent work, THE STARR REPORT DISROBED (Columbia University Press, 2000), was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.