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16. Shawkat M. Toorawa, Near Eastern Studies

Shawkat ToorawaIbn Abi Tahir Tayfur and Arabic Writerly Culture: A Ninth-Century Bookman in Baghdad (Routledge Curzon, 2005). Ibn Abi Tahir Tayfur (d. 280/893) was an ancient poet and prose writer, schoolmaster and copyist, independent scholar, member of important literary circles, and significant anthologist and chronicler. Toorawa uses this central but understudied figure as a focal point in his reevaluation of the literary history and landscape of third/ninth-century Baghdad. He demonstrates and emphasizes the significance of the transition from a predominantly oral-aural culture to an increasingly literate and writerly one. This transformation had a profound influence on the production of learned and literary culture; how learning was transmitted; types of literary production; the nature of scholarly and professional occupations and alliances; and the range of meanings of key concepts, such as plagiarism. The book appeals to anyone interested in Arabic literary culture and history and in books, writing, authorship, and patronage.

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