أسعد عبّاس كاظم باجي الميّاحيّ



Arab popular biography represents an important axe of the old Arabic narrative axes. Its importance lies in several aspects. The first, it was written in later eras, it had been for a long time a verbal text retold in popular meetings and cafes. This caused the neglecting by the official culture over long centuries, and led to the inattention and did not codify as other texts codified, as – the popular biography – was seen as a text belong to public people, who want to hear about the heroism of the personalities that fought the forces of injustice and tyranny, dreaming in restoration these characters and exemplifying them by a new hero able to save them from injustice they live in. The second reason is that the popular biography distinctively cultural text, because its creation and storytelling passed through several stages, each storyteller adds some of his culture and ideology, and with the multiple narrators, and additions thereto, it reached to us in its current form.

The biography of King Saif bin Dhi Yazan regarded a unique text among Arab popular biographies, because the narrator tried to make it an inclusive text, taking the advantage from the Arab heritage, including its well-known multiplicity and richness, the religious text and the popular culture, in order to come out as a biographical integrated text. More importantly, that it had collected everything associated with the fantastic, of personalities, places and times, as well as it built extensive tales about vocabulary available in Arabic books. It provided cities and different places no one heard about before, and draw seas, valleys, mountains, and fortresses, benefiting from the Arab imagination that mentioned them in some books. This fantastic made ​​the biography of King Saif bin Dhi Yazan (The relic of Arabic wonders) as described by Saeed Yaqteen, which made the researcher tries to re- read it based on data, the first one of that is this biography had not been read thoroughly, only in some Arabic literature that examined it within a range of popular biography, and did not get the independent pursuant, except some studies that have worked out in other ways, such as the study of, Dr. Khatri Orabi “The legendary Structure of the popular biography.. The biography of King Saif bin Dhi Yazan as a model”, in which his main concern was to link it to Egyptian history, and the search for its references in the Egyptian figures and anecdotes, as well as studies of Farooq Khurshid, Nabeela Ibrahim and Abdel-Hamid Younis which reviewed the Biography not looking at its structures or narrative techniques. One of the important studies is what presented by Saeed Yaqteen in his book, “The narrator said” which is considered one of the important books in the study of popular biography in general, and the biography of King Saif bin Dhi Yazan in particular.

On the other hand the Arabic criticism interested in studying the fantastic for not a long time, and it was Todorov book “Introduction to Fantastic Literature” which was an important driver for studying it, after it had been translated in the year 1994. However, most critics interested in the fantastic and neglected the two genres parallel to it. So they studied it in the novel and the story, when critics and researchers had to study both the wondrous and the grotesque in the same degree of importance in which they studied the fantastic, because the latter does not come from being a state of transition between the two genres, it is actually formed through the wondrous and the grotesque.

If the grotesque linked to imagination, the fantastic is connected to it practically. We cannot describe a character as fantastic, but it must be described as wondrous if wonder originally in its structure, such as genes or the complicated characters like the two dogs, the ogres and some of the animals, while the fantastic act issued by any character doing what it is called up normal, whether the character is a natural person or wondrous. So the fantastic act differs from the wondrous character, as the fantastic act happens in a single moment cannot be caught. It is a moment of hesitation and fear, happens and ends without being able to describe it in details. While the wondrous character fixed on its fantasy, so the narrator be able to describe it precisely and elaborately.

In this study the researcher enabled to study the representation of the wondrous in its four divisions, and he saw that the pure wondrous represented in the absence, treachery, wait and the journey, while the exaggerating wondrous represented in the characters, the trees, the animals, and the event, and the wondrous and the grotesque in the prophecies and the genes, the dreams, the visions and the magic, while the instrumental wondrous represented in the relics, the symbolic tools, the Central relic (Book of Nile) Minister of copper and many others.

In studying the wondrous characters, there were stances in front of several key characters in the biography, they are King Saif bin Dhi Yazan and Alkhidr character.

The wondrous character is a different creature, shaped by several verbal inputs, the narrator seeks for the way to build a character different from the structure of the natural character, he combines several creatures in one creature, to install a new character, or adds spirit to the inanimate, such as rubies and wood, and in view of the virtues of this character of high imaginative characteristics which bestow on narrating the biography enabling it to enrich their worlds not only by the wondrous character personality alone, but by what associated with it of natural characters and events can accommodate and stretch based on what this character has of potentials and abilities .

As the place defined, in the study of the fantastic and the wondrous, as it is a space for their representations, especially when it is regarded in the biography of King Saif bin Dhi Yazan as a main hero for the role it plays which is no less important than the role of King Saif himself. So you cannot study the wondrous without reading it, look at the time that it is represented in, and then; by the involvement of space and time, in the existence of an event, the space is formed.

In spite of the forming of the space in the novel, as in the popular biography, of an unlimited number of places, the place cannot form a space if the event is not presented clearly, and the event does not go without the kinetics of time. In studying the fantastic and the wondrous, time cannot be formed from the sequence of events, but there is a particular time exemplified in permanent breaching the limits of normal, while the wondrous space is shaped by the connection of the realistic with the imaginative, because the background underpinning these spaces often suggest a real place, so the wondrous is not being formed in the places in which king Saif lives, but in his continued journeys, where the desert or the wide places are the theatre of this space. So the fantastic appears in places that form the open spaces, where the wondrous characters appear and practice miraculous acts without being constrained by a ceiling or a wall, and thus they are looking for freedom in practicing such acts with the wondrous characters that their fantasy lies in capabilities it derives them from the divine capacities and the miracles.