Call for Pitches: Library of Arabic Literature Blog
Library of Arabic Literature Blog
by nyupress
2M ago
We’re looking for writers who are enthusiastic about Arabic literature to contribute to the Library of Arabic Literature blog. We welcome ideas for posts on a variety of topics. Previous blog posts have included reflections on how LAL books fit with a broader theme, such as the Global Middle Ages or disability studies, as well as surprising comparisons (e.g. ‘Antarah and Cardi B). Blog posts should be 800-1200 words long, written in English, and must feature at least one LAL book, preferably (but not necessarily) one published within the last two years. We offer an honorarium of $400 for each ..read more
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Off the Beaten Path with al-Shābushtī’s The Book of Monasteries
Library of Arabic Literature Blog
by nyupress
2M ago
In this blog post, Johannes Makar reflects on al-Shābushtī’s The Book of Monasteries. His analysis explores Muslim-Christian interactions in medieval Middle Eastern monasteries, challenging conventional narratives and embracing minoritarian perspectives. At the core of my PhD research lies the question of how minoritarian voices enrich—or complicate—mainstream studies of history. Did communities like the Copts inhabit isolated “worlds,” as the historian Albert Hourani once posited, or did they actively shape the Egyptian public sphere? In my dissertation, I explore how the histories of commun ..read more
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Communicating with Falcons and Collaborating with Poets: Behind the Curtains of Ibn al-Muʿtazz’s Hunting Poetry, Part III
Library of Arabic Literature Blog
by nyupress
7M ago
The third portion of AJ Naddaff’s conversation with James E. Montgomery on In Deadly Embrace delves into Ibn al-Muʿtazz’s poetry itself, as well as his personal insights on and journey with both the work and his collaborators.  AJN: For readers who are curious to know details about the content, what is being described in the poetry? JM: There’s a number of hunting animals described: some with two legs and two wings, some with four legs, such as horses and cheetahs. The overall context or situation for each poem would have been the individual hunting expedition, at the end of which these p ..read more
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Vulnerability and Heroic Masculinity: Behind the Curtains of Ibn al-Muʿtazz’s Hunting Poetry, Part I
Library of Arabic Literature Blog
by nyupress
8M ago
In Deadly Embrace is a collection of Abbasid hunting poems by Ibn al-Muʿtazz. In this blog post, editor and translator James E. Montgomery sits down with AJ Naddaff to discuss the significance and history of Arabic hunting poetry, the culture of the hunt, and running themes of masculinity in the genre.  AJN: To start, can you tell us more about your translations of the hunting poetry genre, the ṭardiyyāt?  JM: Maybe the best way to explain this is to describe the overall arch of the project. There will be four volumes of Arabic hunting poems and translations in total, and then there ..read more
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Blurring the Lines between the Human and Non-Human: Pre-Islamic Hunting Poetry with James Montgomery, Part II
Library of Arabic Literature Blog
by nyupress
1y ago
This second portion of AJ Naddaff’s conversation with James Montgomery about Fate the Hunter further delves into the anthology and its portrayal of time and the lines between human and non-human. Montgomery also shares his thoughts on ecocriticism and using contemporary theories in reading poetry of the past. James Montgomery speaking in an event at the NYUAD Institute. AJN: Carrying on from our prior discussion of fate, can you talk about the phenomenon of time in this collection? JM: In Fate the Hunter, when the poet or the human animal does the hunting, they become the machine of fate. Th ..read more
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A Cathedral of Sound: Pre-Islamic Hunting Poetry with James Montgomery
Library of Arabic Literature Blog
by nyupress
1y ago
In this latest addition to the LAL blog, AJ Naddaff sits down with James Montgomery to discuss his latest book Fate the Hunter. For the first portion of this two-part interview, Montgomery talks over what intrigues him about the work of Imruʾ al-Qays, al-Shanfarā, and jāhilī poetry in general. He discusses the rich sounds of the poetry as well as the origin of the book’s title. AJ Naddaff: Thanks so much for joining us today. Oh, hi there. James Montgomery: This is my Jack Russell terrier—he will be with us for part of the conversation too. AJN: Beautiful. In anticipation of today’s conversat ..read more
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Muslim-Christian Relations in Medieval Middle East Monasteries: An Interview with Hilary Kilpatrick
Library of Arabic Literature Blog
by nyupress
1y ago
In this second of a two-part interview about The Book of Monasteries, AJ Naddaff speaks with Hilary Kilpatrick about her approach to translation, the text’s importance, the present day state of some of the monasteries highlighted, and Ghassan Kanafani’s “Men in the Sun”. This is a repost of this interview. AJN: What was your translation process for this text? HK: I was really very nervous about translating the poetry. But going through the editing process of LAL, in the end, I suppose it turned out to be all right. It was really problematic: How do you translate Arabic poetry? I didn’t really ..read more
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Fine Poetry, Fun Anecdotes, & Life Lessons in Medieval Middle East Monasteries: An Interview with Hilary Kilpatrick
Library of Arabic Literature Blog
by nyupress
1y ago
The Book of Monasteries transports readers to a world of Christian monasteries rarely seen by outsiders. Written in the late tenth century and set across the Arab world—from modern day Iraq through southern Anatolia to Egypt—the book is not of the typical themes of prayer, asceticism, and withdrawal from the world. Instead, you find a rich tapestry of poetry, political intrigue, and even murder. In this two-part series, translator Hilary Kilpatrick sits down with A.J. Naddaff to discuss the content, medieval authors, topography, wine drinking, and pluralism. AJN: Your expertise and publication ..read more
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Between a rock and a high place: Picturing Bedouin geographies in Ibn Sbayyil’s Arabian Romantic
Library of Arabic Literature Blog
by nyupress
1y ago
In this blog, PhD student Maggie Freeman discusses and illustrates through a series of photographs the landscapes and geographies in Ibn Sbayyil’s Arabian Romantic: Poems on Bedouin Life and Love. The Arabian desert provided rich imagery for Najdi poets such as Ibn Sbayyil. 19th and 20th century photographs help bring to life the places described by Ibn Sbayyil and the people who occupied them.    The poetic corpus of Arabian Romantic: Poems on Bedouin Life and Love, composed by ʿAbdallāh ibn Sbayyil during the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Saudi Arabia’s Najd province ..read more
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The Mundane and the Magical: The Book of Travels and Early Science Fiction and Fantasy
Library of Arabic Literature Blog
by nyupress
1y ago
In this blog post, writer and editor J.D. Harlock reflects on the influence of Hannā Diyāb on Western literature, especially the genres of science fiction and fantasy. Even though few of us have heard of him, Hannā Diyāb is, without a doubt, one of the most influential storytellers to have ever graced our pages. Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp, Alī Bābā and the Forty Thieves, The Story of Prince Ahmed and the Fairy Perī-Bānū, and The Ebony Horse are but four of the fourteen fantastical tales that Diyāb offered up for inclusion in Les mille et une nuits — the French translation of One Thous ..read more
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