Borrowed Imagination

Borrowed Imagination : The British Romantic Poets and Their Arabic-Islamic Sources

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Borrowed Imagination: The British Romantic Poets and Their Arabic-Islamic Sources deals with the influence of specific Arabic materials on English Romantic poetry during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. It reflects on philosophers and literary and cultural critics' neglect of the role played by Arabs and Muslims in helping the British Romantic poets develop their themes, characters, imagery, and narrative modes. It also highlights the ambiguous feeling of the poets themselves toward the East.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 246 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 20.32mm | 362.87g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739187619
  • 9780739187616
  • 1,700,835

Review quote

This erudite study is the genesis of careful consideration over some years. In Borrowed Imagination, Attar brings to bear an impressive array of works by the British Romantic poets and Islamic-Arab sources. This work could be only undertaken by a scholar with an impressive knowledge of both Western and Eastern literature. Attar is one of the few scholars in the field today who can claim such credentials...Attar's work is a major step toward rectifying the lacuna in acknowledging and recognizing Arab-Islamic influences on Western literature...Borrowed Imagination should become essential reading for anyone studying or writing about the Romantic poets. It not only widens our understanding of the Romantic poets and their work but also draws attention to the centuries old interaction of West and East. Arab Studies Quarterly Samar Attar's Borrowed Imagination challenges the pervasive assumption that British Romantic poets depended almost exclusively on philosophical, religious, and literary sources from the West... By tracing specific references to these sources, tropes associated with orientalism, and narrative patterns that may indicate the possibility of direct or indirect influence, Attar generates a wealth of possible leads for further scholarly study and offers a comparative analysis of major works in British Romantic literature. Journal of Romanticism Many scholars have speculated on the influence of the Arabian Nights and other works of Arabic literature on the British romantic poets. With the publication of Samar Attar's Borrowed Imagination, such speculations can now move into the realm of certitude. Attar makes a cogent and compelling case for taking the Arabic genealogy of many of the romantic poets' literary sources of inspiration seriously. This is a major contribution to the study of the interconnectedness of humanistic enterprises and the politics of engaging it. -- Asma Afsaruddin, Indiana University An extensive, intellectual history, richly contextualised, of the Romantic period in English literature, Attar's work demands that we take note of the multiple Arab sources of the celebrated Romantic imagination. Exhaustively researched, detailed accounts of influences on the poets Coleridge, Wordsworth, Blake, Keats, Shelley, and Byron fill an important gap in our understanding of the Romantics. Scholars will also find the central role of the One Thousand and One Nights in the themes and imagery of Romantic poetry provocative. -- Geetha Ramanathan, West Chester Universityshow more

About Samar Attar

Samar Attar is an invited speaker at international universities and organizations in Egypt, Syria, the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, Spain, Germany, and the United Arab Emirates. She is the author of Debunking the Myths of Colonization: The Arabs and Europe.show more

Table of contents

Table of Contents Preface Introduction. The English Romantic Poets: Their Background, Their Country's History, and the Sources that Influenced Their Literary Output Chapter One. Borrowed Imagination in the Wake of Terror: Samuel Taylor Coleridge and the Arabian Nights Chapter Two. The Riots of Colors, Sights, and Sounds: John Keats' Melancholic Lover and the East Chapter Three. The Natural Goodness of Man: William Wordsworth's Journey from the Sensuous to the Sublime Chapter Four. Poetic Intuition and Mystic Vision: William Blake's Quest for Equality and Freedom Chapter Five. The Interrogation of Political and Social Systems: Percy Bysshe Shelley's Call for Drastic Societal Change Chapter Six. The Infatuation With Personal, Political, and Poetic Freedom: George Gordon Byron and his Byronic Hero Conclusion. How Valid is Kipling's Phrase that East and West Can Never Meet? Bibliography Appendices About the author Indexshow more