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January 29 , 2010

Ibn Abi Tahir Tayfur and Arabic Writerly Culture

A Ninth Century Bookman in Baghdad


Toorawa re-evaluates the literary history and landscape ofthird to ninth century Baghdad by demonstrating and emphasizing the significance of the important transition from a predominantly oral-aural culture to an increasingly literate one. This transformation had a profound influence on the production of learned and literary culture; modes of transmission of learning; nature and types of literary production; nature of scholarly and professional occupations and alliances; and ranges of meanings of certain key concepts, such as plagiarism. In order to better understand these, attention is focused on a central but understudied figure, Ibn Abi Tahir Tayfur (d. 280 to 893), a writer, schoolmaster, scholar and copyist, member of important literary circles, and a significant anthologist and chronicler. This book will appeal to anyone interested in Arabic literary culture and history, and those with an interest in books, writing, authorship and patronage.

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