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The Alchemy of Glory: The Dialectic of Truthfulness and Untruthfulness in Medieval Arabic Literary Criticism

Mansour Ajami
ISBN: 978-0-89410-632-3
ISBN: 978-0-89410-633-0
1988/153 pages

"A welcome addition to the very few serious and focused studies on medieval Arabic literary criticism, its technique and historical development.... Specialists and students of literary criticism in general, and Arabic literary study in particular, will find it enlightening, inspiring, and revealing."—Muhammad S. Eissa, International Journal of Middle East Studies


A detailed study of the literary debate among medieval Arab critics and philosophers about the use of truthfulness and untruthfulness in the poetry of the period. Emphasis on the critical schemes proposed by al-Jurjani and al-Qarta-janni. The book includes extensive notes, a bibliography, an index of personal names, and a useful glossary/index of literary and philosophical terms.


Mansour Ajami is an accomplished poet and musician; he holds a Ph.D. in Arabic language, literature, and Islamics from Columbia University.