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The Tale of al-Barrāq Son of Rawḥān and Laylā the ChasteA bilingual edition and study$
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Marlé Hammond

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266687

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266687.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 02 August 2021

From Fiction to History and Back: The Tale, Its Versions and Its Afterlives

From Fiction to History and Back: The Tale, Its Versions and Its Afterlives

Chapter:
(p.1) 1 From Fiction to History and Back: The Tale, Its Versions and Its Afterlives
Source:
The Tale of al-Barrāq Son of Rawḥān and Laylā the Chaste
Author(s):

Marlé Hammond

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266687.003.0001

This chapter introduces the fictional tale by tracing its evolution from its unknown origins in what was probably the seventeenth century to its historicisation and Christianisation in the nineteenth century, to its infiltration of popular culture and the fine arts in the twentieth century. Its adaptations across various media, including literature, cinema and music, are explored. The chapter furthermore shows how the tale inscribes the endemic paradigms of the ʿUdhrī love narrative and the popular epic or sīra with the western model of the damsel-in-distress fairy tale. Finally, the chapter relates the process by which the tale becomes absorbed into Arabic culture to Yuri Lotman’s notion of the ‘boundary’ as the site of artistic innovation and the creation of new genres.

Keywords:   Al-Barrāq, Laylā the Chaste, sīra, ʿUdhrī love, fairy tale, Yuri Lotman, Bāhija Ḥāfiẓ, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Shukrī, Asmahān

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