Sunday, September 28, 2008

Interpretation of stories

The twelfth chapter of the Quran, 'Joseph', deals with such diverse concepts as verse, story, actual incident, dream and other "signs" by which to recognize the Truth. As the story unfolds, we discover that language, story, real incidents, dreams and observations can all be interpreted in a similar manner. There is an organic unity between them and they are interconnected.

Quite interestingly, the word used for a verse of the Quran is ayat, which literally means a sign.

"Thus will your Lord choose you and teach you the interpretation of stories," says Joseph's father to Joseph, in the story chosen by the same Lord to teach that art to the readers. A design within design, a story within story, mise en abyme? I find it interesting and want to explore it in some more detail.
The illustrations shows detail from Surah Yusuf, ending of ayat 64, a copyrighted work by Feridun Özgören (calligraphy by Hamid Aytaç) used with permission.

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