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Leg Over Leg: The Turtle in the Tree: The Faariyaaq
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Table of Contents

Book Four 1 Contents of the Book Chapter 1: Unleashing a Sea Chapter 2: A Farewell Chapter 3: Assorted Pleas for Mercy Chapter 4: The Rules for Retelling 62 Chapter 5: The Superiority of Women 72 Chapter 6: A Discussion 84 Chapter 7: Compare and Contrast 96 Chapter 8: A Voyage Festinate and Language Incomprehensibly and Inscrutably Intricate Chapter 9: Form and Shapes 126 Chapter 10: A Passage and an Explanation 142 Chapter 11: A Translation and Some Advice 154 Chapter 12: Philosophical Reflections 172 Chapter 13: A Maqamah to Make You Walk 190 Chapter 14: Elegy for a Son 202 Chapter 15: Mourning 218 Chapter 16: The Tyrannical Behavior of the English 230 Chapter 17: A Description of Paris 248 Chapter 18: A Complaint and Complaints Chapter 19: A Metropolitan Theft and Miscellaneous Events Chapter 20: Selection of Poems and Verses Written by the Fariyaq in Paris as Previously Alluded To 308 Conclusion Letter to "Sidi Shaykh Mu?ammad, Sayyidna Metropolitan Bu?rus," etc. List of the Synonymous and Lexically Associated Words in This Book

About the 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 is an award-winning translator of some twenty works of modern Arabic literature, among them Alaa Al-Aswany's The Yacoubian Building, four 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, ranslation, and lexicon of the Ottoman-period Hazz al-quhuf bi-sharh qasid Abi Shaduf (Brains Confounded by the Ode of Abu Shaduf Expounded) by Yusuf al-Shirbini and compiled with a colleague an anthology entitled Al-'ammiyyah al-misriyyah al-maktubah: mukhtarat min 1400 ila 2009 (Egyptian Colloquial Writing: selections from 1400 to 2009). 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, where he lives.

Reviews

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 *
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 overduebut 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 *
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 *
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 *
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 *
...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 *
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 *

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