Contexts of Arabic Literature

Contextsof ArabicLiterature

Inthe chapter, Allen provides a detailed context that allows theinvestigation of the Arabic literature in terms of genres. To fulfillthis, the text provides information on the literary traditions ofArabic literature that relate to the physical and linguisticcontexts. The text provides the background on the rulers of thesociety under focus and the patterns of authority that relate tochanges in Arabic literature. The text further cites historians thathelp the reader understand the arguments of the contexts of theArabic literature. By citing Ibn Khaldun’s model of historicalunderstanding, Allen (10) presents culture and civilization as themain influences of the Arabic literature.

Accordingto Allen (10), the growth of cities led to the development, culturalchanges and debate that found its way into literature. This isfurther magnified by the view of the world by Arabs and the Islamicreligion as monoliths and fusing the two concepts into one meaning.In addition, the context of the Arabic literature is influenced bythe Arabic language that is commonly perceived to be spoken bynatives based on situations. Moreover, the language contextcontributes to the way people view Arabic literature from theinternal scene and global scene.

Thephysical context significantly influences the understanding of theArabic literature due to the direct factors that relate to literatureand the environment. According to Allen (15), the environmentalcontext also contributes to the understanding of the Arabic culture.The harsh desert terrain greatly limited the any outside influenceover the Arabic culture, which gives a clue to the understanding ofthe literature. Moreover, the Islamic religion further gives adimension that needs understanding in the quest to investigate theArabic literature.


Allen,Roger. AnIntroduction to Arabic Literature. Cambridge:Cambridge University Press,