THE MAQ � M � T OF AL-HAMADH � N � : GENERAL REMARKS AND A CONSIDERATION OF THE MANUSCRIPTS Much has been written about the origins of the maqama, and the inter- pretation of the writings of Bad-ic al-Zaman al-Hamadhani, his mind and purposes. His literary antecedents have been examined, why he wrote as he did has been the subject of speculation, but, in the absence of a critical edition of the maqamat, rarely, if at all, has it been asked what exactly did he write. These are questions that are still largely "subtilely obscure beyond the imaginings of soothsayers. " Much discussion has concentrated on the attempt to see precisely where lay the originality of Hamadhani. This was based on the notion that Hamadhani had created a new form called the maqama. It remains common to call upon the evidence of Hariri, who in the introduction to his own maq1m3t wrote, with a certain false modesty, of his debt to his outstanding and unsurpassable predecessor. Nowhere, however, does he assert that Hamadhani "invented (abdaca) the maqama," to quote Mat- tock out of context. What Hariri says is that in the literary assemblies of his day there
Journal of Arabic Literature – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1991
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