This translation provides access to a work of rare importance for the study of the social, economic, and intellectual life of Egypt during a critical but understudied period of its history and is a companion to the critical edition of the Arabic text (OLA 141). Written in 1686 or soon after, the work takes the form of a lengthy introduction to and a commentary on a poem supposedly composed by an Egyptian peasant. This format allows the author both to attack rural society (which he divides into peasants, jurisprudents, and Sufis) and to play for comic effect with the conventions of the then central text-and-commentary genre. A lengthy introduction and numerous notes help to explain the content and significance of the text. The book will interest students of Ottoman Egyptian culture and society, rural-urban relations in Egypt, and Arabic linguistics. It also deserves attention as a work of comic genius of a sort rarely met with in Arabic literature whose mordant humor and vitriolic tone open a window onto the mind and world of an Egyptian scholar of the period.
Yusuf Al-Shirbini's Brains Confounded by the Ode of Abu Shaduf Expounded (Kitab Hazz Al-Quhuf Bi-Sharh Qasid ABI Shaduf): Volume II: English Translati
av Ht Davies
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