• Licit Magic - GlobalLit Working Papers 11. Sitting in on an Ottoman Madrasa Course in Rhetoric. Gürānī's Interlinear Translation-cum-Commentary of the Preface of al-Qazwīni's Talkhīṣ al-Miftāḥ

    Kristof D'hulster (see profile)
    Kayvan Tahmasebian
    Rebecca Ruth Gould
    Digital Middle East & Islamic Studies, Global Literary Theory, Islamicate Studies, Literary Translation, Ottoman and Turkish Studies
    Literature, Middle Eastern literature, Rhetoric, Poetics, Poetry, Translating and interpreting
    Item Type:
    Online publication
    GlobalLit, multilingual, Ottoman, commentary, World literature, Literary theory, Poetics and poetry, Translation
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    This working paper presents a 16th- or 17th-century Ottoman translation-cum-commentary of the preface and introduction of one of the classics of Islamicate rhetoric, al-Qazwīnī’s Talkhīṣ al-Miftāḥ (The Key’s Digest), a 14th-century work on rhetoric based on al-Sakkākī’s 13th-century seminal Miftāḥ al-ʿUlūm (The Key of Sciences). This particular work is translated not because of its exceptional quality, but—quite on the contrary—because of its emblematic nature, as it provides us with a glimpse of the kind of texts on rhetoric that madrasa students throughout the Ummah engaged with, and—perhaps even more importantly—with a glimpse of the way in which they did so: through interlinear translations and/or commentaries. Al-Qazwīnī as the author and Gürānī as the translator-cum-commentator walk the student through some highly condensed definitions of “eloquence” and “rhetoric”, each of which is defined first and foremost negatively and hardly ever positively (negatively as the absence of tanāfur al-ḥurūf, gharāba, mukhālafat al-qiyās al-lughawī, al-karāha fī l-samʿ, ḍaʿf al-taʾlīf, tanāfur al-kalimāt, taʿqīd, kathrat al-takrār, and tatābuʿ al-iḍāfāt; positively as muṭābaqa li muqtaḍā l-ḥāl). The text concludes with a rather confusing discussion of the branches of rhetoric and their nomenclature.
    This series is part of a project that has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant agreement No. 759346.) For more working papers of the series, visit https://globallit.hcommons.org/licit-magic-working-papers/. For a presentation of the series, visit https://medium.com/global-literary-theory.
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    2 years ago
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