1 • Letters in my Mind
Concepts and Practices of Response in the Writing of al-Qādī al-Fāḍil
al-Qāḍī al-Fāḍil, Saladin’s omnipotent minister and head of the state chancery, was a famous prose stylist and a model for later authors of epistolary literature. In his letters, al-Qāḍī al-Fāḍil mentions the critical reading of his own texts, and he reacts to incoming letters as an inspiration for his work as an author. For this reason and as a central component of the practice and concept of correspondence, which carried his writing, the response is a pivotal topic. al-Qāḍī al-Fāḍil referred to reading the letters he received, anticipated replies, encouraged or urged his addressee to respond, thereby referring to what the reception and reading of the reply letter meant to him as an author whose artful writing was meant to induce and nourish the ideal of an affective relationship.
Keywords: Active and responsive reading • Ornate prose style • Critical reading • Conceptual framework of response • Interrelation of writing and reading • Ideal of affective relationship • Public reading