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Echoes of a thirsty owl: death and afterlife in Pre-Islamic Arabic poetry.

by TE Homerin

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Themes of death in pre-Islamic literature   (2009-03-04)

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by gaither.sarah

In "Echoes of a Thirsty Owl," Homein chronicles the history of owl metaphors in pre-Islamic literature.  Homerin locates the conception of owl imagery in archetypal associations of death with the night, darkm and unknown.  being nocturnal, the owl works at night.  Thus, these connections between the owl and death, Homerican argues, were instinctive.  Drawing on a variety of ancient literature that references owls, Homern makes a convincing case for the historically anchored nature of common images.  His work is useful in directing close readings of classical Arabic literature (namely the quasidah) and brings out a number of important themse regarding the nature and treatment of death in ancient Arabia. 




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