Danilo Marino (Paris)
November, 10 to November 11, 2016
Although cannabis was used for centuries in medical treatments, it is only from the 13th century that the first literary texts inspired by ḥashīsh consumption started to be recorded in Arabic sources. Probably this is the case because ḥashīsh started to be used as a recreational substance from the late ῾Abbāsid period.
In this communication, we will briefly present the appearance of the herb in the Arab society of the Mamlūk sultanate (648-922/1250-1517), then we will focus on a variety of jocular anecdotes focused on pleasures surrounding ḥashīsh intoxication, and finally we will analyse a number of poetic compositions describing the herb and its effects within the frame of Arabic literary conventions. Also, we will try to understand if ḥashīsh literature and especially poetry can be considered as a new genre.
Our main source will be the Rāḥat al-arwāḥ fī l-ḥashīsh wa-l-rāḥ (The delight of the souls in ḥashīsh and wine), an anthology compiled in the second half of the 15th century by Taqī al-Dīn Abū l-Tuqā' al-Badrī (847-894/1443-1489), that we partially edited in our PhD thesis after the discovery of another manuscript.
Danilo MARINO received a PhD in Letterature Comparate and Langues, littératures et sociétés du monde from the Università degli studi di Napoli "L'Orientale" and the Institut National des langues et civilisations orientales (INALCO) of Paris. Based in Cairo, he is currently working on the complete edition of al-Badrī's Rāḥat al-arwāḥ fī l-ḥashīsh wa-l-rāḥ. He will publish in the upcoming special issue of Annales Islamologiques 49, 2015 a contribution on "Raconter l’ivresse à l’époque mamelouke. Les mangeurs de haschich comme motif littéraire". His main fields of interest are: Mamlūk literature, jocular Medieval Arabic anecdote literature, literature of intoxication, marginality and gender in Medieval Islam.
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