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Author Stewart, Tony K., 1954- author.

Title Witness to marvels : Sufism and literary imagination / Tony K. Stewart.

Publication Info. Oakland, California : University of California Press, [2019]


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Description 1 online resource
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents Heavenly orchestrations : the world of the legendary pirs of Bengal -- The enchanting lives of the pirs : structures of narrative romance -- Subjunctive explorations : the parodic work of pir kath? -- Mapping the imaginaire : the conditions of possibility -- Manipulating the cosmic hierarchy : a practical act of conceptual blending -- Pragmatics of pir lath? : emplotment and extra-discursive effects -- Epilogue.
Summary "Witness to Marvels traces the development of a unique genre of Sufi-inspired Bengali romances called pir kathas, whose protagonists and plots are wholly fictive. For five centuries these fabulations have parodied indigenous and Hindu textual traditions. Both mimicking and mocking, these parodies adopted a subjunctive tone, exploring a magical world of 'what-if'. They created an Islam-inflected space within a traditional Bengali cultural environment without trying to legislate what ideally 'should be' according to tropes common to Islamic history, theology, and law. The tales' discursive arena, the imaginaire, delineated the realm of possibility for how these tales might exercise the imagination to integrate Hindu and Islamic cosmologies. Tales insinuated themselves into locally relevant discourses through elaborate intertextual connections, subtly shifting presuppositions about the way the world works and what counts as religious authority. As Allah looked on from heaven, the tales routinely assigned Sufi saints, both pirs and bibis, to the pivotal role of avatar, the periodic descent of divinity, equating them to the Hindu god Narayan. Adopting a semiotic strategy to interpret these tales yields a bold new perspective on the subtle ways Islam assumed its distinctive form in Bengal and suggests how we need to reimagine conversion in this region"--Provided by publisher.
Note Print version record and CIP data provided by publisher; resource not viewed.
Subject Bengali literature -- Social aspects -- India -- Bengal.
Romance fiction, Bengali.
Islam and literature -- India -- Bengal.
Sufism -- India -- Bengal.
Hinduism -- India -- Bengal.
Bengali literature -- Social aspects. (OCoLC)fst00830440
Hinduism. (OCoLC)fst00957121
Islam and literature. (OCoLC)fst00979875
Romance fiction, Bengali. (OCoLC)fst01003001
Sufism. (OCoLC)fst01137257
India -- Bengal. (OCoLC)fst01213579
RELIGION / Islam / History.
Other Form: Print version: Stewart, Tony K., 1954- Witness to marvels. Oakland, California : University of California Press, [2019] 9780520306332 (DLC) 2019005276
ISBN 9780520973688 (ebook)
0520973682 (ebook)
9780520306332 (paperback ; alkaline paper)
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