chapter  1
34 Pages

Images and metaphors in the introductory sections of the Makkan sūras

INTRODUcnON It is a well known fact that the introductory sections of literary compositions often carry a significance in addition to their merely informational value; within Arabic literature this fact has been acknowledged in regard to the most prominent poetical genre, the qa~ida, for a long time. Its fairly stereotypical introductory section (nasib) has been closely studied by several scholars.2 A recent study especially, based on a psychological approach, has shown to what extent this introductory section constitutes the clue to an adequate understanding of the interior structure of the entire composition, since it represents, more than any other part of the qa~ida, a poetical expression of both the psychical condition of the ancient Arabian poet as well as of his audience and their spatial and temporallocalization.3