“I seem to hear Hughes’s poem everywhere in my version of Abū Nuwās.”
“Not only the greatest Arab traveller of all time, but perhaps the greatest of all time.”
In a new volume from the Library of Arabic Literature, James E. Montgomery re-translates the extraordinary story of Ibn Fadlan’s “Mission to the Volga.”
Travel Writer Tim Mackintosh-Smith on Why Seventh and Eighth Graders Should Read These Classic Arabic Travel Tales
“To see this slice of the earth as it was and, how can I put it, to know that we’re not lost in our own time.”
The Library of Arabic Literature recently staged the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute’s first public event in Dubai.
On Nov. 20, a number of Library of Arabic Literature (LAL) stalwarts will be found at the Penn Bookstore in Philadelphia, giving a talk about “A Corpus, Not a Canon: Translating Classical Arabic for the Modern Reader.”
Sean W. Anthony, assistant professor of history at the University of Oregon, brings a historian’s eye to his work editing and translating Maʿmar ibn Rāshid’s Maghāzī, or The Expeditions: An Early Biography of Muḥammad. The text explores the early life of the prophet and his community and, Anthony says, contains “humor, adventure, tragedy, and all the ingredients of great stories.”
The anticipated third and fourth volume of Humphrey Davies’ English translation of Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq’s classic Leg Over Leg are now available. What’s in Volumes 3 and 4?
American University in Cairo CAASIC fellow Anny Gaul (who blogs at imiksimik.wordpress.com) recently gave a talk at the AUC on “Shahrazad’d Pharmacy: Literary Objects that Delight and Instruct.” Will Barnes was there.
Translator Gregor Schoeler notes that Abul ʿAla al-Maʿarri’s “The Epistle of Forgiveness” has been linked to Dante’s “Divine Comedy.” Yet al-Maʿarri’s description of the hereafter, unlike Dante’s, seems shot through with a strong sense of irony. What does al-Ma’arri mean by it? When is — and isn’t — he being ironic? Schoeler talks about the parallels between the “Epistle” and the “Divine Comedy” and why irony complicates the translation process.
If there were two disappointments I had while reading the opening chapter of Sinan Antoon’s The Poetics of the Obscene in Premodern Arabic Poetry, “Ibn al-Hajjaj and Sukhf: Genealogies,” they were: 1) that the full book is listed at more than $70, and 2) that there wasn’t a companion historical novel that gives full imaginative license to a re-crafting of Ibn al-Hajjaj and his contemporaries.
Th. Emil Homerin, author of the recently-published The Principles of Sufism, has long been interested in the work of ‘A’ishah al-Ba’uniyyah, who is perhaps the most prolific and prominent woman who wrote in Arabic prior to the modern period. Homerin, a professor of religion and former chair of the Department of Religion & Classics at the University of Rochester, previously translated a collection of al-Ba’uniyyah’s poems as Emanations of Grace, and likens her work to that of the famous Persian poet, Jalal al-Din Rumi.