By Lila Abu-Lughod
[Note: This 1987 variation is now out of inventory. a brand new up-to-date variation is now available.]
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Additional info for Veiled Sentiments: Honor and Poetry in a Bedouin Society
From the forms ofa Bedouin voice, one can begin to understand with some precision the shape of Bedouin experience. ( 1 979, 27) 28 Guest and Daughter Two points should be noted here. First, Meeker ties literature to what, in his view, are the central concerns of Rwala life, namely, uncertain political relations and the struggle among mounted men with weapons . Second, like Levi-Strauss, who at least sometimes, as in "The Story of Asdiwal" ( 1 967) , argues that myth is a means for resolving philosophical/social dilemmas at the heart of a soci ety, Meeker sees poetry as a primarily intellectual means of dealing with these central concerns.
Granqvist's texts are replete with poems and songs associated with every major and minor life event of the villagers she so vividly portrays. Musil also collected rich poetic material 27 Veiled Sentiments from the Rwala Bedouins. For the most part, however, despite the frequency with which scholars of Arab culture comment on the high value Arabs place on poetry, few have tried to situate this poetry in its living social context. Those who do deal with literary matters are rarely ethnographers; they neither record poems as they occur in the course of daily life, nor do they analyze them with reference to their social uses, devoting most of their attention instead to classical literary poetry.
The only drawback was that, like Altorki ( 1 973 ) , I found that people expected me to know things that I did not in fact know, and my hesitation to betray my ignorance, especially in matters of religion, did prevent me from pursuing some topics that I otherwise might have. Nevertheless, living in a social world defined by the same boundaries as those experienced by members of the community allowed me to grasp more immediately just how the social world worked and how its members understood it.
Veiled Sentiments: Honor and Poetry in a Bedouin Society by Lila Abu-Lughod