By Dwight F. Reynolds

Autobiography is a literary style which Western scholarship has ascribed in most cases to Europe and the West. Countering this review and providing many little-known texts, this finished paintings demonstrates the lifestyles of a flourishing culture in Arabic autobiography. examining the Self discusses approximately 100 Arabic autobiographical texts and offers 13 decisions in translation. The authors of those autobiographies characterize an impressive number of geographical components, occupations, and spiritual affiliations. This pioneering examine explores the origins, historic improvement, and specified features of autobiography within the Arabic culture, drawing from texts written among the 9th and 19th centuries c.e. This quantity involves components: a common research rethinking where of autobiography within the Arabic culture, and the translated texts. half one demonstrates that there are way more Arabic autobiographical texts than formerly well-known through smooth students and indicates that those texts characterize a longtime and--especially within the center Ages--well-known class of literary construction. The 13 translated texts partly are drawn from the complete one-thousand-year interval lined by means of this survey and signify a number of kinds. every one textual content is preceded by way of a quick advent guiding the reader to express positive factors within the textual content and delivering common heritage information regarding the writer. the quantity additionally includes an annotated bibliography of one hundred thirty premodern Arabic autobiographical texts.In addition to proposing a lot little-known fabric, this quantity revisits present understandings of autobiographical writing and is helping create a big cross-cultural comparative framework for learning the style.

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767) and Ibn Hishām (d. 828 or 833) on the Prophet Muhammad. [10] It eventually came to mean a biography, in particular that of the Prophet Muhammad. The form soon came to serve as a vehicle for the retelling of other famous lives, such as Ibn Shaddād's sīra of Saladin (alā al-Dīn al-Ayyūbī), Badr al-Dīn al-‘Aynī's biography of the Mamluk sultan al-Mu’ayyad, al-Sayf al-muhannad fīsīrat al-malik alMu’ayyad (The Fine Indian Blade on the Life of King al-Mu’ayyad), and many others. The sīra thus became an independent work devoted to the biography of an individual; although there are far fewer of these texts than the hundreds of thousands of shorter biographical notices that have come down to us, they still constitute a sizable body of literature.

7, no. 2 (1997): 215–33. 3. See Wolfhart Heinrichs, “Prosimetrical Genres in Classical Arabic Literature,” and Dwight F. Reynolds, “Prosimetrum in 19th- and 20thCentury Arabic Literature,” in Prosimetrum: Crosscultural Perspectives on Narrative in Prose and Verse, ed. Joseph Harris and Karl Reichl (Suffolk: Boydell and Brewer, 1998), 249–75, 277–94. 4. On lists and narratives, see Stefan Leder, Das Korpus al-Haiִtam b. ‘Adī (st. 207/822). Herkunft, Überlieferung, Gestalt früher Texte der ahbār Literatur (Frankfurt: Vittorio Klostermann, 1991), 197 ff.

R. Barber and S. M. Stern, 2 vols. (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1967), 1:168, 170; Werner Caskel, amharat an-nasab: Das genealogische Werk des Hišam ibn Muammad al -Kalbī (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1966), 1:35; and, for a discussion of this form in its modern living context, Andrew Shryock, Nationalism and the Genealogical Imagination: Oral History and Textual Authority in Tribal Jordan (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997). 2. However, for arguments to accept akhbār accounts as autobiography, see Hilary Kilpatrick, “Autobiography and Classical Arabic Literature,” Journal of Arabic Literature 22 (1991): 1–20, and Jamal J.

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