45 Book reviews LOGOS 9/1 © WHURR PUBLISHERS 1998 THE BOOK IN THE ISLAMIC WORLD: THE WRITTEN WORD AND COMMUNICA- TION IN THE MIDDLE EAST Edited by George N Atiyeh State University of New York Press, Albany, 1995 pp 305 ISBN 0 7914 2474 X $19.95 Is it not a hopeless challenge to pretend to cover a field of study as large and complex as The Book in the Islamic World in a single volume, even allowing for the qualification in the subtitle? Nobody would be more con- scious of the Sysiphian nature of this endeavour than Professor George Atiyeh and his eminent colleagues who gathered, at the invitation of the Library of Congress some years ago, to debate “the role of the book in the development of civilization in the Islamic world”. But even in the face of the immensity of the task, it was cer- tainly worthwhile to try to put an end to the extraordinary gap in the otherwise fruitful and active research into the book during recent decades, whereby one of the major civilizations of the written word was neglected and even ignored, a fact revealed by the useful selective biography pre- pared by
Logos – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1998
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