The Poetics of the Obscene in Premodern Arabic Poetry: Ibn al-Hajjaj and Sukhf
(Palgrave Macmillan, 2014)
The pre-modern Arab poet Ibn al-Hajjaj (941-1001) left an indelible mark on the trajectory of pre-modern Arabic poetry and culture by pioneering and popularizing a new mode of poetry, sukhf - obscene and scatological parody. His outrageously obscene poetry was admired by his contemporaries, as well by poets and critics of later periods. The modern period, however, has not been nearly as kind to Ibn al-Hajjaj. Sinan Antoon argues that the reasons for this oversight are ideological, for the most part, and have to do with modern misconceptions of what constitutes "good poetry." The Poetics of the Obscene in Pre-Modern Arabic Poetry is the first study of this fascinating poet and the genre he popularized, placing it within Arab cultural genealogy. Antoon reinscribes Ibn al-Hajjaj into the literary history from which he has been exiled and offers fascinating close readings of the poems in their social and cultural context.
"Sargon Boulus and Tu Fu's Ghost(s)" Journal of World Literature 2 (2017) 297-319.
" Sargon Boulus's Commitment" in Commitment and Beyond: Reflections on the Political in Arabic Literature Since the 1940seds. Friederike Panicke and Georges Khalil, with Yvonne Albers (Wiesbaden: Literature in Context 41)
“What did the Corpse Want? Reading Torture Poems” in Speaking About Torture, eds. Elisabeth Weber (New York: Fordham University Press, 2012).
“Debris and Diaspora: Iraqi Culture Now” in Uncovering Iraq; Trajectories of Disintegration and Transformation, eds. Chris Toensing and Mimi Kirk (Washington, D.C: Georgetown University Press, 2011) pp. 115-141.
“Returning to the Wind: Mahmud Darwish’s La Ta`tadhir `Amma Fa`alt” in Mahmud Darwish, Exile’s Poet: Critical Essays, ed. Najat Rahman and Hala Nassar, (Northampton, MA: Interlink, 2007).
“Mahmud Darwish’s Allegorical Critique of Oslo” Journal of Palestine Studies. vol. 31, no. 2 (Winter 2002) pp. 66-77.
Adonis: Selected Poems, tr. Khaled Mattawa (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011) in Translation Journal, (Spring 2012).
Yair Huri, The Poetry of Saadi Youssef: Between Homeland and Exile, Journal of Middle Eastern Literatures (Spring 2012).
Stephen Salaita, The Holy Land in Transit: Colonialism and the Quest for Canaan, Journal of Palestine Studies. vol. 40, no. 1 (Autumn 2010).
Hamdi Sakkut, The Arabic Novel: Bibliography and Critical Introduction 1865-1995, Journal of Arabic Literature, vol. 35, no. 1 (Fall 2004).
Stefan G. Meyer, The Experimental Arabic Novel: Postcolonial Literary Modernism in the Levant. Arab Studies Journal, vol. ix/x no. 2. (Fall 2001/Spring 2002) pp. 106-109.
Kanan Makiyya, Republic of Fear: The Politics of Modern Iraq, Middle East Studies Association of North America Bulletin, October 2000.
"Ibn al-Hajjaj" and "Bashshar bin Burd" in Encyclopedia of Islam III (Brill, 2015) (forthcoming).
“Ibn al-Hajjaj” and “al-Suyuti” in The Encyclopedia of Erotic Literature, ed. Gaetan Brulotte and John Philip (New York: Routledge, 2007).
“Nazik al-Mala’ika” “Fadil al-`Azzawi” “ Umar Amiralay” in Biographical Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa, ed. Michael Fischbach (Detroit: Gale, 2007).