In the (relatively short) history of Arabic literature in English translation, there are a few major figures. Perhaps the two most towering are Denys Johnson-Davies, the pioneer of Arabic-English translation, and Werner Mark Linz, long-time director of American University in Cairo Press.
When Linz passed away early on the morning on February 9, 2013, Arabic literature lost a great friend, a delightful companion, and passionate advocate. In translator Chip Rossetti’s words, Linz was “an inveterate champion of Egyptian and Arab authors.”
Authors, friends, fellow publishers, former employees, and others sent in memories of Linz, which are now gathered online; others shared photos or videos (apologies for those I didn’t know how to format and upload); the timeline is borrowed in large part from a document Linz assembled, shared by AUC Press.
Next Tuesday, March 19, there will be a memorial commemorating Linz’s life; it’s set to begin at 5 p.m. in Oriental Hall. Speakers at the memorial will include members of the AUC community, AUC Press authors, friends and family members. President Lisa Anderson will deliver the opening remarks, then reflections on Linz’s life will be given by Hewison; AUC Press authors Aswany, Zahi Hawass, Agnieszka Dobrowolska and Jill Edwards; as well as Bruce Ludwig and Thomas Thomason, AUC trustees; Ibrahim El-Moallam, head of the Arab Publishers Union; and Linz’s brother Wolfgang.
On Sunday, April 14 at 4 p.m., the Werner Mark Linz Memorial Library will be announced.
On Saturday, May 18, beginning at 11 a.m., a memorial service will be held at Holy Trinity Church, Sloane Street, in London.