THE PERFORMATIVITY OF IBN AL - MUQAFFA®ÕS KA LÁLA W A - DIMNA AND A L - MA Q¤ M¤ T A L - LUZàMIY Y A OF AL - SARAQUSÞÁ DAVID A. WACKS University of California, Berkeley Abstract While not written for performance, works of medieval Arabic literature such as Ibn al-Muqaffa®Õs KalÂla wa-Dimna and al-Saraqusß ÂÕs al-Maq¨ m¨t al-luzâmiyya are extremely performative in nature, in that their structure is determined by represen- tation of acts of performance. This is achieved either explicitly, by describing the performer or storyteller in the act of performing, or implicitly, by citing a perfor- mance carried out as part of a chain of narrative transmission, as in the isn¨d of a ½adÂû . The ways in which narrative performance is represented in these texts are re ective of the culture of performance and attitudes toward different types of per- formances that obtained in medieval Islam. Ibn al-Muqaffa® was a pioneer in the introduction of literary prose narrative to Arabic literature. He paved the way for later innovators such as al-Hama!¨nÂ and al-SaraqusßÂ, who brought literary ction to Arabic literature by adapting traditionally accepted modes of oral narrative trans- mission
Journal of Arabic Literature – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2003
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