It would be naive, how- ever, to suppose that hij'a) is therefore a means to channel aggression and to prevent bloodshed. Even in the animal world it is not rare for for- malized aggression to take a turn for the worse; 20 and the history of hij'a) shows numerous instances where physical violence is sparked off rather than curbed, and where reason and moderation are swept aside by rhyme and metre. Like the flytings known from other cultures, hij'a) often serves as a preliminary to violence rather than a substitute. The formal charac- teristics of hija), as compared with abuse in ordinary prose, instead of attenuating its effects only serve to strengthen its rhetorical intensity and to increase its chances of survival. For although every hija)-poem is an occasional poem, it is meant to be remembered
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- (no access) - Gelder, Geert Jan van: The Bad and the Ugly.pdf, p6
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