Leg over Leg: Volumes One and Two (Library of Arabic by Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq,Humphrey Davies

By Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq,Humphrey Davies

Leg over Leg recounts the existence, from beginning to heart age, of “the Fariyaq,” modify ego of Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq, a pivotal determine within the highbrow and literary historical past of the trendy Arab international. The regularly 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 expertise 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 center Easterners, and the diversities among modern eu and Arabic literatures, the entire whereas celebrating the genius and sweetness of the classical Arabic language.

Volumes One and stick with the hapless Fariyaq via his formative years and early schooling, his misadventures one of the clergymen 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 era he suffers a few illnesses that parallel his development within the sciences of Arabic grammar, and engages in fun digressions at the desk manners of the Druze, younger love, snow, and the scandals of the early papacy. this primary booklet additionally sees the list—of destinations in Hell, varieties of medieval glue, tools of torture, stars and pre-Islamic idols—come into its personal as a signature gadget 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 exact and unclassifiable. It used to be at first generally condemned for its assaults on authority, its spiritual skepticism, and its “obscenity,” and later versions have been usually abridged. this is often the 1st entire English translation of this groundbreaking work.

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