Chapter

Introduction

Brinkley Messick

in The Calligraphic State

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 1992 | ISBN: 9780520076051
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520917828 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520076051.003.0001
Introduction

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This book investigates the changing relation between writing and authority in a Muslim society. The calligraphic state was both a political entity and a discursive condition. It concentrates on a number of discursive features, particularly modes of authoritative expression, that are shared by several categories of texts and built into the practices of a number of important institutions. It reviews the connections between the literary processes behind the constitution of authority in texts and the social and political processes involved in articulating the authority of texts. This book creates a composite view of the calligraphic polity and discursive condition. It is also primarily devoted to a specific course of historical change in highland Yemen over the past hundred years. Finally, an overview of the chapters included in this book is given.

Keywords: Muslim society; calligraphic state; writing; authority; calligraphic polity; Yemen

Chapter.  4323 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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