Arab Today, arab today arabic literature found in translation
Last Updated : GMT 03:54:11
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Arabic literature found in translation

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Arabic literature found in translation

Dubai - Arabstoday

When was the last time that, without realising it, you quoted from a foreign work of literature? Have you talked about being stuck in a circle of hell, got a Proustian rush from a certain spell, analysed Oedipal urges or been in a Kafkaesque nightmare? The English-speaking world would be a different place without access to the world\'s great literature, but - One Thousand and One Nights aside - Arabic classics have been harder to find in translation. Take Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq. Experts call him the first Arab novelist and a modernist before modernism existed. Born in Lebanon in 1804, he went on to advise sultans, run newspapers and a printing press, globe-hop his way across Europe, north Africa and the Middle East and invent a new type of literature. While it\'s not hard to track down a Chekhov play or philosophy book by Plato, there has never been an English translation of any of al-Shidyaq\'s work - until now. The award-winning translator Humphrey T Davies, who is responsible for the English-language version of Alaa Al Aswany\'s hit novel The Yacoubian Building, among many other works, is currently hard at work on a translation of al-Shidyaq\'s masterpiece, the 720-page tome Al-Saq \'ala al-Saq, or Leg Over Leg. The book (whose original, much longer title is practically an essay in itself) is scheduled to be released late next year in two volumes, as part of NYU Press\'s new Library of Arabic Literature series. Bookworms in the Emirates will have a chance to hear Davies speak about his experience grappling with Leg Over Leg tonight, when he gives a talk at the InterContinental Hotel to launch NYU Abu Dhabi\'s three-day World Literature and Translation Conference. (A talk called \"Celebrating Emirati Literature\" with Banipal magazine is taking place the following day.) To give us a taste of what will be on the agenda, Davies spoke from his home in Cairo about how translating al-Shidyaq is both important and a little daunting. Leg Over Leg doesn\'t just have a rhyme scheme and archaic lexicon; it also includes quotations from French novelists, allusions to classical Arabic science and layers of meaning. It makes Davies\' job a tough one, but also, he says, makes it fun. Al-Shidyaq was \"one of those geniuses who pop up from time to time\", he says. \"He read voraciously. He knew numerous languages. Everything about him was unique.\" Davies describes the book\'s protagonist as the author\'s alter ego and says that everything that happens is a starting point for a digression about the nature of society. \"It contains some of the first statements on freedom of expression and human rights,\" Davies says. \"It\'s a very irreverent debunking of authority.\" It also has a style that\'s sometimes downright eccentric. One chapter is entirely taken up with al-Shidyaq expressing relief that the previous chapter has ended, and announcing that he\'s going to have a rest before starting the next. At the moment, Leg Over Leg is a book that many Arabic speakers will have heard of, but few have actually read outside of academia, but Davies is hoping that his translation will help change that, and that more translations of al-Shidyaq\'s work will follow. Like all of the Library of Arabic Literature Series, Leg Over Leg will be printed with the Arabic and English texts on facing pages, so that it can be used by language students as well as scholars and people reading for fun. Davies isn\'t new to introducing books to entire continents of readers. The first novel he translated, in 2003, was Thebes at War by the Egyptian Nobel Prize-winner Naguib Mahfouz, but his most popular translation is undoubtedly The Yacoubian Building. When it was received rapturously in the UK and US, Davies says he realised that what he was doing was \"not just some private obsession, but something that would really have an impact on the reading world\". Since then, translations of books by writers as diverse as the inaugural \"Arabic Booker\"-winner Bahaa Taher, the Lebanese intellectual Elias Khoury and the Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti have followed.

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today arabic literature found in translation Arab Today, arab today arabic literature found in translation

 



Arab Today, arab today

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today arabic literature found in translation Arab Today, arab today arabic literature found in translation

 



Arab Today, arab today Etiquette expert calls for short visits

GMT 16:21 2017 Monday ,26 June

Etiquette expert calls for short visits
Arab Today, arab today France defies terrorism through tourism

GMT 15:18 2017 Saturday ,20 May

France defies terrorism through tourism
Arab Today, arab today Mai Al-Jeddawi presents décor ideas for Ramadan
View News in Arabic - Culture: أخبار الثقافة والفنون
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

GMT 09:49 2017 Tuesday ,02 May

Girl barred from Malaysia chess competition

GMT 08:48 2017 Saturday ,06 May

Climate science: Bad news gets worse

GMT 16:25 2017 Sunday ,04 June

“Suhoor” is basic meal for fasting

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 11:09 2017 Sunday ,25 June

HUAWEI P10 the ‘guru’ of portrait shots
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday