Classical Arabic Verse: History and Theory of 'Arud

By Dmitry Frolov | Go to book overview

PREFACE TO THE RUSSIAN EDITION

I became interested in ʿArūḍ in the late 1970s. As my research progressed, I saw more and more clearly that diverse, often autonomous branches of Arabic studies accumulated a stock of new facts and ideas which could—if taken together—deepen our understanding of the nature of Classical Arabic verse and the structure of the theory describing it.

My approach to the interpretation of the teaching of al-Khalīl was formulated for the first time in an article written in 1983 and published in 1987.1 The publication paid no special attention to the history of Arabic versification. It was only during discussions with Professor Anna Dolinina and Professor Anas Khalidov and on their advice that I decided to study the genesis of ʿArūḍ verse.2 Thus came into being the approach to Classical Arabic verse which formed the basis of this book. In it I treat the history of ʿArūḍ and its theory not as two isolated problems but as two sides of one problem, casting light on each other.

Any book which offers a new outlook on subjects where views have become traditional cannot be free from disputable points. The author would not eliminate them, hoping that the discussion which may arise will lead, as often happens, to the truth, even if it does not lie in the area where I thought it would.

There are many references in any scholarly text, but I would like to mention here those authors without whom this book would have been impossible. They are R. Blachère, G. Gabutchan, D. Gintzburg, I. Goldziher, G.E. von Grunebaum, J. Kuryłowicz, A. Sánchez, and M.Ullmann.

1 Frolov, “Teoriya aruda: prosodiya i ritm,” in Problemi arabskoy kulturi, Moscow,
1987, 124–142.

2 The first version of my views on the subject was published in Frolov, “K
voprosu o stanovlenii i evolutsii klassicheskogo arabskogo stikha,” in Problemi istorich-
eskoy poetiki literatur Vostoka, Moscow, 1989, 243–286.

-xiii-

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