Sensibilities of the Islamic Mediterranean: Self-Expression by Robin Ostle

By Robin Ostle

From the mountains of Lebanon to the shorelines of Turkey and North Africa, the Islamic Mediterranean has consistently been a dynamic cultural hub, the place the tales and passions of East and West collide. In a sweeping survey spanning the 1st Arabic variation of the Thousand and One Nights to the novels of the 20 th century, Robin Ostle pours via centuries of books, artwork and structure to bare what they let us know concerning the altering dating among person and society during this special culture.  In pre-modern literature, individuality was once expressed via a sequence of comedian subversions which, via their answer, eventually bolstered the social established order. the good nineteenth century travelogues represented a extra transgressive exploration of the bounds of the self. This subject used to be persisted within the cultural sorts of the 20 th century, with their emphasis on self-expression and emotional liberation, whatever more and more outlined towards the state.  'Sensibilities of the Islamic Mediterranean' unravels the feelings, rules and gear relationships which make up the cultural textile of this attention-grabbing quarter.

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Extra resources for Sensibilities of the Islamic Mediterranean: Self-Expression in a Muslim Culture from Post-Classical Times to the Present Day

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Even if the related sayings were in fact uttered and the reported acts actually took place, it is very likely that names were freely attached to them without much concern for truth – especially names that became almost legendary, like Harun al-Rashid and Buhlul,41 or Abu Nuwas, who in popular fictional literature developed from a poet into Harun al-Rashid’s court jester. Another difficulty is the fact that the literary sources about jesters and buffoons are biased towards the oral, the verbal and literary, rather than drama, acting, mime, slapstick and other forms of non-verbal foolery.

In some stories containing similar episodes, the meeting of the prince and the princess is prepared by the princess upon seeing a painting in the garden pavilion, designed by the prince, which refutes her prejudice about the untruthfulness of men. Ardashir thus succeeds in entering the palace by making use of the functions of various spaces for the different phases of his approach. For some time he lives hidden in Hayat al-Nufus’ rooms until he is discovered by a eunuch and brought before the king.

The art of entering palaces and castles It is remarkable that in the stories of the Thousand and One Nights only on rare occasions are castles taken by force. Usually a ruse is found to sneak in. In several stories a king suggests sending a military expedition against another king who has refused his daughter in marriage to a prince. Usually the prince himself rejects this solution, since what he wants to achieve – a harmonious union with his beloved – cannot be realised by coercion and the use of force.

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