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Volume :5 Issue : 20 1985      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

The Art Of Riddles In Arabic Heritage (Historical, Literary, Folkloric Approach) (in Arabic)

Auther : Mohammad Rajab Al-Najjar

This paper deals with the subject of the art of riddles in Arabic. It surveys the different aspects of the heritage: the literary, the rhetorical, the critical, the linguistic, and the encyclopedic: starting from the early writing-age, ending up with the present time. The paper also draws the attention to the classification of riddles as shown in the manuscript of “Al-I jaz in Riddles and Puzzles”. Written by Abu Al-Ma’ ali Sa’ddeen Al-Hadheeri Al-Baghdad (died 568 H). this paper shows how attentive were the Arabs to this popular oral art, which was subscribed to by both the general public and the elite. The Arabs showed great interest in all the multiple aspects of this are: its artistic structures its meaningful function, and its conceptual and aesthetic manifestations, whether educational social, or psychological, the paper then juxtaposes such findings against the prevalent writings of modern and contemporary folklore against the prevalent writings of modern and contemporary folklore scientists, in order to arrive at some fruitful conclusions, the following being some of them. First, the interest the Arab showed in the art of riddles and puzzles, as one of the popular and formal genres of literature, is as old as the beginning of the writing—age’itself. Second, the compilers of these riddles, rather perform their job in a haphazard way, did follow certain scientific classificatory procedures, proving to be pioneers in this field. Third, the old Arabs were as broad-minded and widely cultivated as to pay attention not only to elevated literary riddles. But to common folk riddles as well. Fourth, the ancient art of riddles did not conform to, or reflect, any social or cultural rank or hierarchy: many of the elevated riddles were echoed by the laymen, and many commonplace riddles reached the elite, and were sometimes rephrased by them. Such factors, as the above-mentioned ones, should only prompt us to pay more serious attention to the folkloric Arabic heritage, as a first step to setting up a new folkloric science, based on original Arab traditions.

 

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