“I will admit to a hope, though: that they are the tip of an iceberg, and that more such works will be discovered in due course. That’s the more interesting scenario.”
“They do their best to indicate that philosophy – falsafa – is nothing more than a kind of wisdom – hikma – and wisdom is known as one of the true pursuits of god.”
Let’s talk about the chicken and the egg: Which came first, the 101 Nights or the 1001?
Bruce Fudge, Professor of Arabic at the University of Geneva and author of Qur’anic Hermeneutics: al-Tabrisi and the Craft of Commentary (2011), wanted to take a break from Qur’an commentary and “read all the things that religious scholars told you not to read.”
A crowdsourced list of cult classics.
“Complete with fight scenes, love scenes, and warrior women, this epic follows a woman and her son and their posse of friends as they move back and forth primarily in the Arab-Byzantine borderlands, with visits to Constantinople and to the caliph’s court in Baghdad.”
“I’m not entirely sure who shouldn’t read this. It’s tempting to hope that the Pamela Gellers, Robert Spencers, and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadis of the world will overlook it. But actually I think it would be alright if they didn’t.”
“[W]hat this book shows us is that exclusionary ideas arise out of particular milieus and under particular stresses. The authors are not just inspired by the contents of the tradition, they’re aggressively shaping and pruning the tradition to suit their own needs.”
‘His Voice Really Speaks To Us Directly Now’: Tahera Qutbuddin on Translating Mutanabbi with the Library of Arabic Literature
“It’s a winning combination — the aesthetic qualities of his poetry are unmatched, and his life is also so interesting.”
Forthcoming from the Library of Arabic Literature: A 19th-century Traveler’s Account of Sudan, A Popular Medieval Cookbook, ‘101 Nights,’ and More
While Executive Editor Shawkat Toorawa noted that the board’s expertise “by and large tends to be pre-1450,” it’s clear that the project isn’t just translating the classic classics, but also works from the sixteenth through early twentieth centuries.
“Is this parsimony a virtue?”
In ten years, Library of Arabic Literature General Editor Philip Kennedy said, those in attendance at Thursday’s event would be able to look back and say “I was there.”