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The Calligraphic StateTextual Domination and History in a Muslim Society$
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Brinkley Messick

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780520076051

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520076051.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 05 July 2022



(p.1) Introduction
The Calligraphic State

Brinkley Messick

University of California Press

This book investigates the changing relation between writing and authority in a Muslim society. The calligraphic state was both a political entity and a discursive condition. It concentrates on a number of discursive features, particularly modes of authoritative expression, that are shared by several categories of texts and built into the practices of a number of important institutions. It reviews the connections between the literary processes behind the constitution of authority in texts and the social and political processes involved in articulating the authority of texts. This book creates a composite view of the calligraphic polity and discursive condition. It is also primarily devoted to a specific course of historical change in highland Yemen over the past hundred years. Finally, an overview of the chapters included in this book is given.

Keywords:   Muslim society, calligraphic state, writing, authority, calligraphic polity, Yemen

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