Irwin - Index

I am jumping ahead, and did the analysis on the index - which is organized by author and subordinate his works underneath - the way I count number of pages the author occurs in the book include any page that mentions either the author or the work. Now, because it is an anthology - the number of pages involved for prose (and especially for short stories and essays) authors are typically much larger than for poets. (but for both groups, my cut-off is "mentioned on 10 or more pages." Also, I do not include political figures (like caliphs or sultans, unless they are authors), and also do not include Muhammad the Prophet or the Qur'an.



1. Abu Nuwas (16) 

2. Imru' al-Qays (15)

3. al-Busiri (14)

4. al-Mutanabbi (13)

5. Ikhwan al-Safa' (12)

6. Abu Tamman (11)

7. Bashshar ibn Burd (10)

7. al-Buhturi (10)

7. Ibn al-Farid (10)

7. Shanfara al-Azdi (10)



1. The Thousand and One Nights (132)

2. Jahiz (45)

3. al-Tanukhi (28)

4. Ibn al-Muqaffa' (26)

5. al-Hariri (18)

6. al-Mus'udi (17)

7. al-Hamadhani (16)

8. Ibn Hazm (14)

9. al-Ma'arri (14)

10. Miskawayh (13)

11. al-Ghazali (11)

11. Ibn al-Nadim (11)

11. Ibn Tufayl (11)

11. al-Tawhidi (11)


10 poets and 15 prose authors - this is not a long list!

Bolded above are the 3 Arabic literature authors I included in the CWANA list (Muallaqat has seven poems of which Imru' al-Qays' is the most important); and these 3 excludes al-Ghazzali and a-Mus'udi which I included in the list not as literature but as philosopher and historian.


Why did the CWANA list not include any of the 4 prose works before al-Hariri?

- The Thousand and One Nights was not considered "canonical" (which usually has some elite sense to it) in Arabic world, I recall having that impression.

- Jahiz was considered - would have been included after al-Hariri

- al-Tanukhi is a new name to me - in the Introduction Irwin wrote about prior western Islamists' underestimation of 10th c. prose - that may be why this name wasn't on my radar screen

- Ibn al-Muqaffa' - his main work was an adaptation of Indian Pancatantra - in these cross-cultural transfer I tend to include the original work and not any of its derivatives, no matter how popular the derivatives are (e.g. Tulsidas' Hindi version of Ramayana not included, in favor of the Sanskrit "original")


For poets, when I was selecting authors, Abu Nuwas and al-Mutanabbi was a closed call. I honestly do not remember seeing the name al-Busiri.

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