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The Islamic legal enterprise forms an inherently plural system that can appear puzzling to commentators looking for faithfulness to principle or precedent. When one looks at it, instead, as an ongoing search for correspondence between divine guidance, rooted in the foundational sources of Islam, and the singularity of concrete circumstances, Islamic law is revealed as a practice of discernment against the grain of the particular. This article unfolds this approach to understanding Islamic law by entering the conversation where it is currently most heated, namely in connection with the development of Islamic financial products. A case study of takāful regulation in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) helps substantiate the import of our proposal for attuning to the voice of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh), in the face of contemporary questions arising from the design of financial products in correspondence with the Sharī’ah.
Voltaire's correspondence has been described as his 'greatest masterpiece' – but if it is, it is also his least studied. One of the most prodigious correspondences in Western literature, it poses significant interpretative challenges to the critic and reader alike. Considered individually, the letters present a series of complex, subtle, and playful literary performances; taken together, they constitute a formidable, and even forbidding, ensemble. How can modern readers even attempt to understand such an imposing work? This Element addresses this question through the use of digital reading methods and resources that enhance our understanding of this complex literary object and its relationship to Voltaire's more canonical literary output, and indeed to the Enlightenment world at large. Nicholas Cronk and Glenn Roe provide scholars and students with new pathways into this particular corpus, using tools and approaches that can then be applied to correspondences and life-writing texts in all languages and periods.
In “Correspondence and the Everyday Hemingway,” Verna Kale and Sandra Spanier examine what letters as opposed to literary biography reveal about a writer. As two guiding forces behind the Letters Project – the collaborative effort producing a multivolume scholarly edition of Hemingway’s correspondence, which published its first volume in 2011 and is not scheduled to conclude until 2043 – Kale and Spanier are in a unique position to assess how the correspondence’s availability has expanded our notions of quotidian Hemingway. As they note, there has always been an interest in Hemingway’s letters: as early as 1930, correspondents attempted to sell their letters from him to collectors to cash in on his fame. But his private correspondence wasn’t officially available until 1981 with Carlos Baker’s Selected Letters, a book that immediately impacted Hemingway scholarship. That volume, however, collects less than 10 percent of the 6,000 letters catalogued by the Hemingway Project and gives disproportional attention to 1922–1926 and 1952, somewhat distorting impressions of his life and career; nearly 85 percent of the material the Project will gather has never been published before.
This is the first general book on Greek and Latin letter-writing in Late Antiquity (300–600 CE). Allen and Neil examine early Christian Greek and Latin literary letters, their nature and function and the mechanics of their production and dissemination. They examine the exchange of Episcopal, monastic and imperial letters between men, and the gifts that accompanied them, and the rarer phenomenon of letter exchanges with imperial and aristocratic women. They also look at the transmission of letter-collections and what they can tell us about friendships and other social networks between the powerful elites who were the literary letter-writers of the fourth to sixth centuries. The volume gives a broad context to late-antique literary letter-writing in Greek and Latin in its various manifestations: political, ecclesiastical, practical and social. In the process, the differences between 'pagan' and Christian letter-writing are shown to be not as great as has previously been supposed.
Courtship behaviour varied not just across social class but also depended on individual inclination and disposition. There were agreed patterns of behaviour, particularly in middle-class society, that signalled to family, friends and the wider community that a couple were courting and the expectation was that the courtship would end in marriage. Not everyone observed or followed the rules of courtship, particularly around the issue of pre-marital sex. Courtships sometimes broke down and led to breach of promise to marry cases. While impossible to quantify, one of the facts to emerge from a study of breach of promise cases is the prevalence of sex as part of courtship. While the Presbyterian church authorities were tolerant, if not approving, of couples who consummated their relationship before marriage, the statistical evidence slowly emerging from scattered sources also indicates a significant number of pregnant Catholic brides. The single mother may have been shunned by society but there was less shame attached to the birth of children within seven or eight months of marriage. There is evidence in middle-class urban society of changing attitudes to courtship in the early decades of the twentieth century with more men and women anxious to make their own choice of spouse.
This study focuses on a draft letter by Ḥusayn b. ʿAbd al-Ṣamad al-ʿĀmilī (d. 984/1576) for his teacher Zayn al-Dīn al-ʿĀmilī (d. 965/1558); both were prominent Twelver Shiite jurists from the region of Jabal ʿĀmil in what is now Lebanon. Yūsuf Ṭabājah, who first published the text, argued that Ḥusayn wrote the letter while he was in Iraq c. 957/1550 and that it describes Zayn al-Dīn's legal work al-Rawḍah al-bahiyyah. It is argued here that the book in question is more likely Zayn al-Dīn's work Tamhīd al-qawāʿid, on legal and grammatical maxims, and that the letter dates to c. 958/1551. The text provides insight into the relationship between Ḥusayn and Zayn al-Dīn and the culture of scholarly correspondence.
The chapter begins by delineating the separate tasks of truthmaker theory and theories of truth. The two kinds of theories can be separated, and so are in principle distinct. However, history has not always treated them that way. It is proposed that one way of understanding the distinction between substantive and deflationary theories of truth is in terms of their contrasting relationship to truthmaking. It is then argued that truthmaking cannot be put to work in a theory of truth. Consequently, truthmaking motivates the rejection of substantive accounts of the property of truth. (It ultimately remains neutral regarding the substance of the concept of truth.) As a result, it is shown how correspondence theorists – traditional allies of the notion of truthmaking – are threatened by this book’s approach to truthmaking, whereas deflationists – who frequently see an opponent in the truthmaker theorist – have found a friend.
J. M. Coetzee is often thought a solitary, reclusive figure, but he has long collaborated with other writers and artists. Correspondence and epistolary conventions also play an important role in Coetzee’s fictional work. This chapter argues that we must look beyond the apparent contradiction between Coetzee the private man and Coetzee the collaborator, to understand conflict as central to his pursuit of dialogue. The chapter explores the ways in which writing, reflection, and critique are at the heart of Coetzee’s collaborative work and suggests that these elements are not at odds with his rejection of the demand for immediate, unplanned speech. The chapter provides detailed readings of Coetzee’s works of correspondence, The Good Story and Here and Now, as well as examining his use of epistolary conventions and techniques in his fiction, particularly in Summertime and Age of Iron. The chapter concludes that Coetzee’s commitment to collaboration and correspondence is simultaneously a resistance to producing a single repeatable life-story or superficial exchange, and that just as mediation is necessary to move beyond the stock phrases of epistolary exchange, so errors and disagreements are essential in creating meaningful dialogue.
Chapter 7 looks at how non-royal subjects quoted and reported the texts of their monarch, focussing on evidence from epistolary materials. Letter-writers show a preference for indirect reports, with direct quotation the preserve of those with first-hand access to the monarch. The findings suggest that royal speech was reported primarily for its propositional meaning, rather than its lexico-grammatical form. Royal writing, on the other hand, appears more likely to have been copied out in full, providing a more faithful reproduction of the original text. These practices are considered in relation to the evolving reporting system in early modern English, and their implications for our understanding of how language was conceptualised in the period.
Chapter 2 explores the material properties of royal correspondence, focussing on evidence that correlates with the scribal/holograph provenance of the texts. Five features are examined in a corpus of over 100 royal letters issued by the Tudor monarchs: material provenance markers, handwriting, page orientation, signature placement, and signature style. The chapter finds that royal scribal letters have distinctive material features that make their royal source explicit, with these characteristics used very consistently throughout the Tudor period. Holograph royal letters show a reduced propensity to follow these material codes, and instead show a greater individuality more typical of non-royal letter-writing in the period. The differences are proposed to arise from the different production processes of the letter types, affecting the degree of institutionalised power presented to the letter's recipient. Elizabeth's correspondence shows a wider variation in material choices than that of her predecessors, potentially indicative of shifts in how correspondence was utilised, and the values placed on holograph writing by the end of the sixteenth century.
Chapter 5 surveys non-royal discourse for evidence of how royal texts, and their material and linguistic properties, were recognised, understood and used by Tudor subjects. The chapter looks first at the documented afterlives of many royal texts, via manuscript circulation and publication, before examining metacommunicative remarks relating to royal letters and proclamations in manuscript letters and printed texts of the period. Proclamations have a wider range of discussion, likely reflecting their more public profile and dissemination, but both types of texts are used to justify the actions of the writer.
As is very much the case today, the spoken and written word was a critical weapon of persuasion in eighteenth-century political debates. For early black writers, such as Olaudah Equiano, Phillis Wheatley, Ignatius Sancho, and Robert Wedderburn, who fought hard to articulate their respective positions in the fight against slavery, this situation was even more crucial. Using the common eighteenth-century epistolary form, as well as the pamphlet and essay, these authors managed to secure a readership in and established a dialogue with British society, vehemently defending the rights of their communities. This chapter examines the interplay between the different political and literary strategies (genre, style, voice) which early writers of African descent explored to spark debate, penetrate thinking, and persuade their audiences of the passion of their cause and their plea for acceptance and equality.
This chapter focuses on the archival documents relevant to a study of McCarthy’s works completed in the 1970s: the novels Child of God and Suttree, and the teleplay The Gardener’s Son. It surveys the collections of correspondence available for these years, but concentrates primarily on McCarthy’s typescripts, identifying the relationships among the key drafts and highlighting some of the insights to be gained from the archives about the genesis, composition, revisions, and editing of these works. It shows how Child of God took its genesis from the second draft stage of Outer Dark when McCarthy repurposed material from one book for the other. For The Gardener’s Son, it surveys the documents available in the papers of McCarthy, film director Richard Pearce, and the Ecco Press Records, and outlines the changes which McCarthy made in the teleplay between its second draft and the shooting script. The Suttree section concentrates on material deleted from the novel before publication, either on McCarthy’s initiative or in response to his editor’s plea for compression. It argues that the deleted scenes saved by McCarthy in a separate folder focus primarily on the transformation of oral to literary narratives and emphasize Suttree as a writer in the making.
This chapter surveys currently available archives of drafts and correspondence relevant to a study of the works McCarthy wrote wholly or in part during his Tennessee years. It suggests broad guidelines for doing archival research on McCarthy before focusing on his first two novels, The Orchard Keeper and Outer Dark, for which the most important archives are McCarthy’s papers and those of Random House editor Albert Erskine. For this period we currently have few letters with correspondents other than McCarthy’s editors; but the archives provide a rich introduction to his working practices. They offer important glimpses of McCarthy’s early sense of confidence about his writing, his aesthetic aims and principles, and his developing relationship with Erskine, who edited his novels for twenty years. The chapter describes the relationships among the key drafts and highlights some of the insights to be gained from the archives about the genesis, composition, revisions, and editing of these works. McCarthy’s revisions of The Orchard Keeper, first for Lawrence Bensky and then for Erskine, are especially revealing of his approach to revising for another reader. The first and early drafts of Outer Dark provide rare insights into McCarthy’s compositional strategies and practices.
There are only a handful of repositories in the United States that hold archival resources relating to the author, Cormac McCarthy, and even fewer containing original correspondence. This chapter identifies key collections of letters available to researchers, and provides a guide for navigating these archives. With emphases on personal and professional correspondence, I provide an overview of McCarthy material in the Albert Erskine Papers at the University of Virginia; the Cormac McCarthy Papers at The Wittliff Collections at Texas State University; and the Random House Archive at Columbia University, as well as a few smaller collections.
The historical question of the personal and theological relationship between Martin Luther and John Calvin has long been freighted with larger questions of Evangelical identity. Calvin, in his published and epistolary rhetoric, deliberately constructed the image of a positive but critical attitude toward Luther, which he used to establish his own place in the Reformation. Luther’s own positive but qualified opinion of Calvin, however, came to be distorted by transmission by different parties in the theological disputes of the succeeding generation.1
In this paper we propose the conceptual framework of the assemblage of practice as an effective middle-range heuristic tool that bridges deep theory and the data available to archaeologists. Our framework foregrounds vibrant things as opposed to static objects, and sympathetically articulates the current concepts of entanglement, correspondence and assemblage. To us an assemblage of practice is a dynamic gathering of corresponding things entangled through situated daily and eventful human practice. Once reassembled by comprehensively and critically marshalling all the evidentiary lines available to archaeologists today, the assemblage of practice becomes a powerful analytical tool that illuminates changes, continuities and transformations in human–thing entanglements, and not only their impacts on local and short-term sociocultural developments, but also their repercussions on phenomena of much larger spatiotemporal scale. Our goal is to present archaeologists with a pluralistic, integrative and evolving middle-range framework that pays close attention to terminological precision and theoretical clarity and is conceptually accessible and widely applicable.
This chapter examines Whitman’s correspondence from a big data perspective, mapping out networks that formed around the poet’s outreach and self-promotion efforts in order to demonstrate how these are echoed in his literary output. Following the poet from the Civil War through Reconstruction to literary fame in old age, “Reading Whitman’s Epistolary Database” sheds new light on key developments in Whitman’s life and writing. Employing a variety of visualization methods and distant reading tools, the authors situate Leaves of Grass within a broader range of writing activity, one in which published poetry and prose are viewed not as separate from epistolary media and communication formats, but intimately tied to them. The chapter aims to be a starting point for a more comprehensive look at Whitman’s textual production, as well as an introduction of this still-underutilized dataset to a wider audience of Whitman scholars and digital humanists.