Leg over Leg recounts the life, from birth to middle age, of the Fariyaq, alter ego of Ahmad Faris al Shidyaq, a pivotal figure in the intellectual and literary history of the modern Arab world The always edifying and often hilarious adventures of the Fariyaq, as he moves from his native Lebanon to Egypt, Malta, Tunis, England, and France, provide the author with grist foLeg over Leg recounts the life, from birth to middle age, of the Fariyaq, alter ego of Ahmad Faris al Shidyaq, a pivotal figure in the intellectual and literary history of the modern Arab world The always edifying and often hilarious adventures of the Fariyaq, as he moves from his native Lebanon to Egypt, Malta, Tunis, England, and France, provide the author with grist for wide ranging discussions of the intellectual and social issues of his time, including the ignorance and corruption of the Lebanese religious and secular establishments, freedom of conscience, women s rights, sexual relationships between men and women, the manners and customs of Europeans and Middle Easterners, and the differences between contemporary European and Arabic literatures, all the while celebrating the genius and beauty of the classical Arabic language.Volumes Three and Four see the peripatetic Fariyaq fall in love and convert to Catholicism for twenty four hours in order to marry Although the narrative revolves around a series of debates over the nature of male female relationships, opportunities also arise for disquisitions on the physical and moral significance of such diverse topics as the buttocks, the unreliability of virginity tests, and the human capacity for self delusion Lengthy stays in England and France allow for animadversions on the table manners and sexual aberrations of their citizens, but the discussion, whether it involve dance halls, pleasure gardens, or poetry, almost always 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 work that is unique and unclassifiable It was initially widely condemned for its attacks on authority, its religious skepticism, and its obscenity, and later editions were often abridged This is the first complete English translation of this groundbreaking work Humphrey Davies is an award winning translator of Arabic literature from the Ottoman period to the present Writers he has translated include Elias Khoury, Naguib Mahfouz, Alaa Al Aswany, Bahaa Taher, Mourid Barghouti, Muhammad Mustagab, Gamal al Ghitani, Hamdy el Gazzar, Khaled Al Berry, and Ahmed Alaidy, as well as Ahmad Faris al Shidyaq and Yusuf al Shirbini for the Library of Arabic Literature He has also authored, with Madiha Doss, an anthology of writings in Egyptian colloquial Arabic He lives in Cairo.
Leg Over Leg Volumes Three and Four Leg over Leg recounts the life from birth to middle age of the Fariyaq alter ego of Ahmad Faris al Shidyaq a pivotal figure in the intellectual and literary history of the modern Arab world The al
Hands down One of the great works of the Nineteenth Century Period To say nothing of one of the greatest works of translation of Our Decade Period No hyperbole this is of the Woods Schmidt stature.
Alongside the equally splendid Brains Confounded by the Ode of Abu Shaduf Expounded in two volumes, Leg Over Leg in four , is tremendous feat of translation by Humphrey Davis This scatty encyclopedic epic, a huge proportion of which is written in rhyming prose, and constitutes lists of obscure Arabic words or phrases, is clearly something that only the most ambitious and unhinged translator would take on, and thankfully, Davis was the man Following the adventures of a semi autobiographical chara [...]
For whatever reason, I found this a whole lot less compelling than the first half, but maybe the REAL point is that it becomes even apparent than ever that this book is flatly untranslatable, for fairly obvious reasons Davies probably made the best possible effort, but the fact remains, it just can t be done.
Letter from the General EditorAbout this Paperback Leg over Leg Volumes Three and FourA List of the Synonymous and Lexically Associated Words in This BookAppendix In Which Are Strung Together the Pearl like Errors Made by the Great Masters among the Teachers of Arabic Languages in the Schools of ParisList of Misspelled Arabic Words that I Discovered in the Transcription of LettersTable Showing the Mistakes in the Probabtive Verses in the Maq m t NoticeTranslator s AfterwordChronologyNotesGlossar [...]