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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 ?
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.
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.
As an expression of loss and nostalgia, the maqama is studied in the second chapter, which opens with a long, and somewhat unnecessary, survey of this rhymed prose genre, its history and characteristics (pp.
The manuscript also includes the texts of two other works concerned with romantic love (albeit not love "theory") the maqama 'Ibrat al-labib bi-'athrat al-ka'ib by the Mamluk litterateur al-Safadi (d.
21] The autobiographical nature of this maqama narrative, including the poem, is taken for grant ed by Ibn Iyas.
Ibn Daniyal, as Moreh points out, incorporated his maqama in his shadow play as he did with many of his poems that appeared in his anthology of verse.
Then, in his final chapter on "Hadith al-Qarya," he suggests several important affinities between the maqama and the short story that may serve to explain and perhaps in part to justify the insistence by numerous contemporary literary historians that this seemingly most unlikely candidate was in fact the most influential ancestor of the modern genre.
While narrative fiction may claim some sort of antecedents in Arabic folk literature such as the 1001 Nights and in such high literary forms as the maqama, it has generally been maintained that pre-modern Arabic literature is entirely innocent of dramatic genres.
KIB CEO Luay Maqamas added that the bank would inform its customer base from now and in the near future that they should update their personal information with the bank, especially those who are US citizens or residents.
KIB CEO Luay Maqamas said that the bank would inform its customer base from now and in the near future that they should update their personal information with the bank, especially those who are US citizens or residents.
However, a paper on dramatic structures in al-Hamadhani's and al-Hariri's maqamas (by Marianne Chenou) can hardly be considered as a contemporary topic, while another, treating the dramatic element in some novels by Nagib Mahfuz and his use of dialogue (by Hartmut Fahndrich) cannot strictly be perceived as a discourse on drama as such.
Insufficient space too is given to the role of saj ("rhymed prose") in Arabic literature, as used in genres as divergent as the oracles of the old soothsayers, the epistles of the chancery scribes, and the maqamas of prose writers.