Abstract and Keywords
From medieval European verse to contemporary American fiction, the Qur’an has consistently impacted Western literatures, influencing poets and prose writers from the middle ages to postmodernity. Sketching a chronology of the Qur’an and ‘the canon’, this chapter situates Muslim scripture as a literary precedent in Europe, Britain, and America, attending to Qur’anic echoes that emerge in diverse works penned by literati from Ludovico Ariosto to Washington Irving, from Dante Alighieri to Don DeLillo. Identifying not only oppositions, but unexpected overlaps, between Islam’s holy writ and Western artistry, this chapter suggests the topical subjects and stylistic techniques which ensure the Qur’an’s enduring significance for both literary creativity and literary criticism in the West.
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