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a picaresque novella genre that arose in Arabic literature of the ninth and tenth centuries and later spread to Persian-Tadzhik and Hebrew literatures. The central figure of a maqama tale was usually a wandering unsuccessful man of letters, earning his living through his poetical skill and erudition. The narrative interest of the maqama is based on the hero’s somewhat rascally cunning, while his erudition and poetical skill provide the story’s learned content.

Maqama novellas were written in rhymed prose (saj) in accordance with carefully elaborated rules of form. They abounded in puns, complicated stylistic figures, quotations, and maxims, which often made them accessible only to a narrow circle of connoisseurs of belles-lettres. The most well-known practitioners of the maqama genre include Badi al-Zaman (969-1007), founder of the genre, and al-Hariri (1054-1122), both Arabs; in Iranian literature, Khamid al-Din Balkhi (died 1164); and in Hebrew literature, Judah Ben Solomon al-Harizi (1165-1225). The maqama is sometimes considered the direct predecessor of the European picaresque novel.

In Arabic literature of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, an attempt was made to revive the maqama genre (for example, The Story of Isa ibn Hisham, 1907, by Muhammad Muwaylihi).


Krymskii, A. E. Arabskaia poeziia v ocherkakh i obraztsakh. Moscow, 1906.
Krachkovskii, I. Iu. Izbr. soch., vol. 3. Moscow, 1956.
Fil’shtinskii, I. M. Arabskaia klassicheskaia literqtura. Moscow, 1965.


References in periodicals archive ?
It's hard not to admire Spina's musical, virtuosic style, which shifts effortlessly from operatic melodrama to philosophy to Arab maqama to Lampedusa-like detail, admirably echoed in the English by AndrAaAaAeA@ Naffis-Sahel
2) And, in this light, scholars have proposed varied origins and by no means mutually exclusive intertexts for the episode, ranging from Accursius's Great Gloss, Augustine's De Doctrina Cristiana, medieval rhetorical and dialectical training, folktales, and the Iberian maqama tradition.
Inspired by the picaresque and the maqama, the novel critiques, synthesizes, and recasts both East and West via literary form.
The book is a cross between a blog and Arabic maqama, a series of picaresque episodes in the life of a sometimes over-the-top narrator.
La famosa ilustracion de la maqama segunda de al-Hariri (m.
The author comprehensively surveys the literary sources of rith' al-mudun, in which the poets or the maqama authors mourned the loss of the eastern-styled Arab culture in Spain and expressed their sincere and deep longing, or what some might call nostalgia, for that highly esteemed culture.
Ya en Oriente se esta produciendo un tercer cambio que influira a la literatura de al-Andalus: la ruptura de la poesia con sus origenes populares y la consiguiente aparicion del genero de la maqama.
Khaled al-Khamissi's Taxi is shoved into the "linked short stories" slot in English, while in Arabic you can see it's maqama -inspired.
Later attempts include the fictional narrative Hadith 'Isa ibn Hisham aw Fatra min al-Zaman (The Narrative of 'Isa son of Hisham, or a Period [1898-1900]), which is a modified maqama written by Egyptian author Muhammad Ibrahim al-Muwaylihi (1858-1930).
In terms of content the maqama remotely echoes the literary genre of the picaresque novel as it portrays the wanderings, adventures, and social meetings of the narrator.
I imagine that I can hear Giuseppe Di Lampedusa and grand operas and the maqama tradition.