While the rich oral tradition of Arab and Islamic society will never be totally replaced, there came a point in Islamic society when the written word assumed increasing significance and influence. This chapter examines how the power of pen prevailed in the domain of communication in pre-modern society, examining the special status of writing and epistolary prose within the secretarial realm, as represented in one particular work of the 5th/11th century. This work is the Maw Add al-BayAm Ibn Halaf, regarded as one of the best scholarly representations of the transition from a predominantly oral culture to an oral-writerly one in the pre-modern Islamic society. This transition from oral culture to textual culture as exemplified by Ibn Halaf forms one of the main points of discussion in the chapter.
Keywords: power of pen; writing; epistolary prose; pre-modern society; al-BayAm; Ibn Halaf
Chapter. 12577 words.
Subjects: Society and Culture
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