By Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq, Humphrey Davies
Leg over Leg recounts the lifestyles, from delivery to heart age, of “the Fariyaq,” modify ego of Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq, a pivotal determine within the highbrow and literary background of the fashionable Arab international. The consistently edifying and infrequently hilarious adventures of the Fariyaq, as he strikes from his local Lebanon to Egypt, Malta, Tunis, England, and France, give you the writer with grist for wide-ranging discussions of the highbrow and social problems with his time, together with the lack of understanding and corruption of the Lebanese spiritual and secular institutions, freedom of judgment of right and wrong, women’s rights, sexual relationships among women and men, the manners and customs of Europeans and heart Easterners, and the variations among modern eu and Arabic literatures, the entire whereas celebrating the genius and sweetness of the classical Arabic language.
Volumes One and keep on with the hapless Fariyaq via his early life and early schooling, his misadventures one of the priests of Mount Lebanon, his flight to the Egypt of Muhammad ’Ali, and his next employment with the first Arabic day-by-day newspaper—during which period he suffers a few ailments that parallel his development within the sciences of Arabic grammar, and engages in a laugh digressions at the desk manners of the Druze, younger love, snow, and the scandals of the early papacy. this primary ebook additionally sees the list—of destinations in Hell, different types of medieval glue, tools of torture, stars and pre-Islamic idols—come into its personal as a signature equipment of the work.
Akin to Sterne and Rabelais in his satirical outlook and technical inventiveness, al-Shidyaq produced in Leg Over Leg a piece that's specified and unclassifiable. It was once at first extensively condemned for its assaults on authority, its spiritual skepticism, and its “obscenity,” and later versions have been usually abridged. this is often the 1st whole English translation of this groundbreaking work.
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Additional info for Leg over Leg: Volumes One and Two
36 The Nahḍah, in light of these recent studies, might more precisely be understood as a period of dynamic social and literary change, which oriented its modernity simultaneously inward, toward a classical heritage, and outward, in the direction of Europe. ”37 That is, one Nahḍah that recovers a literary past and another that represents, in varying degrees of realism, a material present, which included goods and people from both inside and outside the Arabic-speaking world, or the “Arabs and their non-Arab peers” of Leg over Leg’s subtitle, or those disconnected and newly connected by steamships and railways, to paraphrase the Fāriyāq.
He even, on rare occasions, writes in colloquial Arabic—an act that remains controversial even today. For many scholars, the shifting of registers between formal and informal Arabic and between ornate and simple styles, marks Leg over Leg as a text produced during the transition to modernity and is one of the sources of the notorious difficulty in categorizing the work. While its title seems to present it as a travelogue, and its story follows the author’s real-life travels, its characters and events are abstracted and stylized, with rhetorical acrobatics often seeming to take precedence over attempts at ethnographic verisimilitude.
1852), an Orientalist and missionary. After Lee’s death, al-Shidyāq continued to work on the Bible, while living alternately in London and Paris until its publication in 1857. 20 In England, he lived near the Cambridge University Library and the British Museum and their substantial Arabic manuscript holdings—he was impressed by the access readers were granted to rare and important manuscripts—and came into contact with scholars of Arabic literature there and in Paris (including Thomas Jarrett at Cambridge, John Nicholson at Oxford, and Caussin de Perceval in Paris).