Ibn Abi Tahir Tayfur and Arabic Writerly Culture: A Ninth by Shawkat M. Toorawa

By Shawkat M. Toorawa

Toorawa re-evaluates the literary background and panorama of  3rd to 9th century Baghdad by way of demonstrating and emphasizing the importance of the $64000 transition from a predominantly oral-aural tradition to an more and more literate one. this variation had a profound impression at the construction of discovered and literary tradition; modes of transmission of studying; nature and kinds of literary creation; nature of scholarly occupations and alliances; and levels of meanings of definite key ideas, resembling plagiarism. with a purpose to larger comprehend those, recognition is targeted on a crucial yet understudied determine, Ibn Abi Tahir Tayfur (d. 280 to 893), a author, schoolmaster, student and copyist, member of significant literary circles, and an important anthologist and chronicler. This e-book will entice somebody attracted to Arabic literary tradition and heritage, and people with an curiosity in books, writing, authorship and patronage.

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Additional info for Ibn Abi Tahir Tayfur and Arabic Writerly Culture: A Ninth Century Bookman in Baghdad (Routledgecurzon Studies in Arabic and Middle Eastern Literatures)

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By recording, in writing, all the knowledge he acquired from his many distinguished teachers,32 and by relying heavily on books, al-Su¯lı¯ amassed an ˙ enormous library. One of al-Su¯lı¯’s students, Abu¯ Bakr ibn Sha¯dha¯n (d. 376/986), ˙ 33 is quoted as saying: I saw a large room of al-Su¯lı¯’s filled with books, stacked on shelves, their ˙ bindings in different colors. Each bookshelf was one color; one shelf was red, another green, another yellow, and so on. . ” 23 THE PRESENCE AND INSISTENCE OF BOOKS Al-Su¯lı¯ was proud of his library – which he generously allowed others to use – ˙ and also of his book-based learning.

In the pre-readerly environment of Arab–Islamic scholarship, a sign of learning was the successful acquisition (often simply memorization) of knowledge. 78 Learning conferred authority. One needed to demonstrate mastery of a discipline through knowledge of meticulous detail and obscure variants. If someone knew only a little, he might often be quoted by the learned, but was not considered learned himself. A little learning was thus dangerous – and unauthoritative. Transmission of the “literary” heritage Information obtained from direct scholarly contact with lecturers, professors, and colleagues continued to play an important – in some cases central – role in transmission.

If one happened upon an autograph copy of a work, one still needed to obtain an ija¯zah (license to transmit) to transmit it further, but there could be considerable separation in time and place between the (original) 18 THE PRESENCE AND INSISTENCE OF BOOKS author and the latest reader. In spite of the possibility of finding a master with whom ( one could read the written work, and who would then certify this with a sama (certificate of audition), the ija¯zah did remain extremely important in scholarly transmission as an ideal.

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