Explores the intricately crafted rhetorical strategies used by al-Jahiz in his letters The 9th-century essayist, theologian and encyclopedist 'Amr b. Bahr al-Jahiz has long been acknowledged as a master of early Arabic prose writing. Many of his most engaging writings were clearly intended for a broad readership but were presented as letters to individuals. Despite the importance and quantity of these letters, surprisingly little academic notice has been paid to them. Now, Thomas Hefter takes a new approach in interpreting some of al-Jahiz's 'epistolary monographs'. By focusing on the varying ways in which he wrote to the addressee, Hefter shows how al-Jahiz shaped his conversations on the page in order to guide (or manipulate) his actual readers and encourage them to engage with his complex materials.
Reader in al-Jahiz: The Epistolary Rhetoric of an Arabic Prose Master
Edinburgh University Press
The Epistolary Rhetoric of an Arabic Prose Master