Leg over Leg: Volumes Three and Four by Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq, Humphrey Davies

By Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq, Humphrey Davies

Leg over Leg recounts the lifestyles, from delivery to center age, of “the Fariyaq,” modify ego of Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq, a pivotal determine within the highbrow and literary heritage of the fashionable Arab international. The consistently edifying and sometimes 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 awareness 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, all of the whereas celebrating the genius and sweetness of the classical Arabic language.

Volumes 3 and 4 see the peripatetic Fariyaq fall in love and convert to Catholicism for 24 hours in an effort to marry. even if the narrative revolves round a chain of debates over the character of male-female relationships, possibilities additionally come up for disquisitions at the actual and ethical importance of such varied themes because the buttocks, the unreliability of virginity assessments, and the human skill for self-delusion. long remains in England and France permit for animadversions at the desk manners and sexual aberrations in their electorate, however the dialogue, even if it contain dance-halls, excitement gardens, or poetry, frequently finally ends up returning to gender relations.

Akin to Sterne and Rabelais in his satirical outlook and technical inventiveness, al-Shidyaq produced in Leg Over Leg a piece that's exact and unclassifiable. It used to be before everything largely condemned for its assaults on authority, its spiritual skepticism, and its “obscenity,” and later variations have been frequently abridged. this can be the 1st whole English translation of this groundbreaking work.

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The ship’s captain’s on guard lest a storm arise, the general against the outbreak of war’s fire, whose fuel is lives—saying, on seeing that his sultan’s thinking is quirky, his mood murky, ‘God protect me from time’s upsets and make this quirkiness a passing spell, gone before the supper bell, for in the face of my king and commander I see designs for the clash of titans and the lineaments of battle, while I have a companionate wife and children, property, and cattle! ’ The ploughman is afraid of too much rain and the hurricane, the educator that men will turn from a thirst for knowledge to one for ignorance, the educated that later writers will say something biting and of the consequences of writing (writing, that is, a book that will suck dry what remains of patience’s limited supply and keep him from any distraction or attraction), the singer and player of instruments that prices will become inflated or the hearts of the rich desolated, the playboy that men will be guided to become more serious, the poet that he’ll find the object of his panegyrics as impervious as rock or his beloved unresponsive and imperious, the author like me of lunatics (meaning he’s on his guard against them, not that he’s one of them),3 who may bar his path, burning his book and tearing his hide to pieces in their wrath, the husband of the decampment of his wife and of his daughter’s staying a spinster for life (as are they, in turn, of his stinginess with his pelf and denial of access to his wealth), the priest of the philosophers’ books, and the philosophers of the priest’s threats, fulminations, and thunderous looks.

Kennedy General Editor, Library of Arabic Literature ABOUT THIS PAPERBACK This paperback edition differs in a few respects from its dual-language hardcover predecessor. Because of the compact trim size the pagination has changed, but paragraph numbering has been retained to facilitate cross-referencing with the hardcover. Material that referred to the Arabic edition has been updated to reflect the English-only format, and other material has been corrected and updated where appropriate. For information about the Arabic edition on which this English translation is based and about how the LAL Arabic text was established, readers are referred to the hardcover.

In addition, I shall by her saliva to the need for drink be made immune, by the smell of her hair to the need for musk and other perfume, for they say that the smell of a woman from the roots of the hair (be those in the body’s cracks and crevices or on the head) may be inhaled and by it all the senses are derailed. Likewise, the heat of her body will suffice as fuel to keep me warm, the sight of her serve as antimony and balm, meaning that I shall save at least one silver coin a day, half of which for a daily morning visit to the bathhouse I’ll pay, leaving me the other half to live on, which is riches indeed and will suffice for any need.

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