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Title: A Critical Review of Modern Scholarship on Sīrat ʿAntar Ibn Shaddād and the Popular Sirat
Authors: Heath, Peter 
Keywords: ʻAntarah ibn Shaddād, active 6th century. - Legends;ʻAntarah ibn Shaddād, active 6th century - History and criticism
Issue Date: 1984
Publisher: Journal of Arabic Literature
Abstract: This essay attempts to review and take critical stock of one part of the modern study of Arabic literature: the scholarship concerning Sirat Antar ibn Shaddad. Although it concentrates its view on the work of modern students of this particular stra, when appropriate it widens its scope to include studies of other popular sTras.1 Simultaneous with reviewing this body of scholarship, it criticizes the use of the methodology that has dominated it: historical philology. This criticism is concerned less with the nature of the methodology itself-like any methodology historical philology has uses and advantages-than with what appears to be scholars' automatic and mechanical reliance on it in areas of study where it is not particularly applicable. My point here is not to suggest the scrapping of one methodology in favor of another, or to chastise past scholars for not using methodologies as yet undeveloped in their day. Rather, it is to clarify the reasons for some of the major weaknesses that have continued to mark the study of popular sfra literature until the present day, and, in the process, clear the way for more fruitful lines of inquiry in the future
DOI: 10.1163/157006484X00032
Appears in Collections:Fulltext Publications

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