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Leg over Leg Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq

Leg over Leg By Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq

Leg over Leg by Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq

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This is the very first English translation of the work and reproduces the original edition, published under the author's supervision in 1855

Leg over Leg Summary

Leg over Leg: Volume Two by Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq

The life, birth, and early years of 'the Fariyaq'-the alter ego of the Arab intellectual Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq
Leg over Leg recounts the life, from birth to middle age, of 'the Fariyaq,' alter ego of Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq, a pivotal figure in the intellectual and literary history of the modern Arab world. The always edifying and often hilarious adventures of the Fariyaq, as he moves from his native Lebanon to Egypt, Malta, Tunis, England and France, provide the author with grist for wide-ranging discussions of the intellectual and social issues of his time, including the ignorance and corruption of the Lebanese religious and secular establishments, freedom of conscience, women's rights, sexual relationships between men and women, the manners and customs of Europeans and Middle Easterners, and the differences between contemporary European and Arabic literatures. Al-Shidyaq also celebrates the genius and beauty of the classical Arabic language.
Akin to Sterne and Rabelais in his satirical outlook and technical inventiveness, al-Shidyaq produced in Leg over Leg a work that is unique and unclassifiable. It was initially widely condemned for its attacks on authority, its religious skepticism, and its obscenity, and later editions were often abridged. This is the first English translation of the work and reproduces the original Arabic text, published under the author's supervision in 1855.

Leg over Leg Reviews

Its contemporaneity is astonishing... It would be doing Leg Over Leg a massive disservice to not make it clear how funny it is. This is a book that for all its challenges, all its insight into humanity, all its place in history, had me regularly laughing out loud. * Music and Literature *
Al-Shidyaq, born in Lebanon in the early years of the nineteenth century, was a Zelig of the Arabic literary world, and his Leg Over Leg is a bawdy, hilarious, epically word-obsessed, and unclassifiable book, which has never been translated into English before * MobyLives *
The heroic achievement of award-winning translator Humphrey Davies marks the first ever English translation of this pivotal work An accessible, informative, and highly entertaining read. * Banipal Magazine *
Humphrey Daviess masterful translation makes accessible this unique and fascinating work, deserving of wider recognition and study [] The translation adroitly and sympathetically captures the linguistic exuberance and literary inventiveness of the original. * Banipal Magazine *
It is not too early to state that the publication of this work, in this edition, is a game-changer. This is a foundational work of modern Arabic literature and its publication in English is long overdue but given how it is presented here, it was perhaps worth the wait. This edition, with helpful endnotes, the original Arabic text, and in a translation that both reads well and appears to closely mirror the original, seems, in almost every way, ideal I dont think Im exaggerating when I say that this is the most important literary publication of a translation into English, in terms of literary history and our understanding of it, in years. * The Complete Review *
...Leg Over Leg by the Lebanese intellectual Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq, [has] long been held to be untranslatable and so [is] appearing, in [its] entirety, in English for the first time. -- Lydia Wilson * Times Literary Supplement *
Humphrey Davies translation, published in four dual-language volumes, is a triumph. He skillfully renders punning, rhyming prose without breaking the spellLeg Over Legstands out for both its stylistic brazenness and the excellence of the translation. With this bilingual edition, the Library of Arabic Literature helps fill a large cultural gap and alters our view of Arabic literature and the formal trajectory of the novel outside the West. Any reader for whom the term & world literature is more than an empty platitude must read Humphrey Davies's translation. -- John Yargo * Los Angeles Review of Books *
We're having a particularly good season for literary discoveries from the past, with recent publications of Volumes 1 and 2 of Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq's 'Leg Over Leg' (1855)... -- Martin Riker * New York Times Book Review *
With this impressive edition and translation, Humphrey Davies has rendered one of the most challenging texts of Arabic literature, al-Shidyaq's al-Saq 'ala l-saq, accessible to a wide range of readers for the first time.... The reader is plunged into al-Shidyaq's critical, humorous, uninhibited, sometimes bitter but profoundly humane, and utterly original masterpiece. -- Hilary Kilpatrick * Journal of the American Oriental Society *

About Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq

Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq (Author)
Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq (1805 or 1806-1887) was a foundational figure in modern Arabic literature. Born to a prominent Maronite family in Lebanon, al-Shidyaq was a pioneering publisher, poet, essayist, lexicographer and translator. Known as the father of Arabic journalism, al-Shidyaq played a major role in reviving and modernizing the Arabic language.
Humphrey Davies (Edited and Translated by)
Humphrey Davies is an award-winning translator of some twenty-five works of modern Arabic literature, among them Alaa Al-Aswany's The Yacoubian Building, five novels by Elias Khoury, including Gate of the Sun, and Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq's Leg over Leg. He has also made a critical edition, translation, and lexicon of the Ottoman-period Brains Confounded by the Ode of Abu Shaduf Expounded by Yusuf al-Shirbini, as well as editions and translations of al-Tunisi's In Darfur and al-Sanhuri's Risible Rhymes from the same era. In addition, he has compiled with Madiha Doss an anthology in Arabic entitled Al-'ammiyyah al-misriyyah al-maktubah: mukhtarat min 1400 ila 2009 (Egyptian Colloquial Writing: selections from 1400 to 2009) and co-authored, with Lesley Lababidi, A Field Guide to the Street Names of Central Cairo. He read Arabic at the University of Cambridge, received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, and previous to undertaking his first translation in 2003, worked for social development and research organizations in Egypt, Tunisia, Palestine, and Sudan. He is affiliated with the American University in Cairo.

Table of Contents

Letter from the General Editor iiiVolume Two 1Contents of the Book 4Chapter 1: Rolling a Boulder 8Chapter 2: A Salutation and a Conversation 38Chapter 3: The Extraction of the Fariyaq from Alexandria, by Sail 62Chapter 4: A Throne to Gain Which Man Must Make Moan 84Chapter 5: A Description of Cairo 104Chapter 6: Nothing 114Chapter 7: A Description of Cairo 116Chapter 8: Notice that the Description of Cairo is Ended 122Chapter 9: That to Which I Have Alluded 134Chapter 10: A Doctor 142Chapter 11: The Fulfillment of What He Promised Us 150Chapter 12: Poems for Princes 160Chapter 13: A Maqamah to Make You Sit 174Chapter 14: An Explanation of the Obscure Words in the PrecedingMaqamah and Their Meanings 186Chapter 15: Right There! 292Chapter 16: Right Here! 294Chapter 17: Elegy for a Donkey 370Chapter 18: Various Forms of Sickness 382Chapter 19: The Circle of the Universe and the Center of This Book 390Chapter 20: Miracles and Supernatural Acts 400Notes 409Glossary 433Index 436About the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute 444About the Typefaces 445About the Editor-Translator 446

Additional information

Leg over Leg: Volume Two by Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq
New York University Press
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
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