Kitab al-Saq ala al-Saq fi ma Huwa al-Fariyac (La vie et les aventures de Farriac. Relation de ses Voyages avec ses Observations Critiques sur les Arabes et sur les autres Peuples par Faris El- Chidiac).

Al-Shidyaq, Ahmad Faris. 1804-1887.

Book ID: 30192

ISBN:      9789953554068


8vo. [5], + vii + 712 pp., + 26 pp., + [8], Arabic text, index, introduced by Professor Yusuf Quzma Khouri. A facsimile edition of the 1855 Paris first edition, Hardback binding, Mint condition, as NEW, Kutub, Beirut, 2009.


Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq (1804-1887) was in many ways more progressive than the celebrated pioneers of the Nahda, the Arabic renaissance.
He was a writer, journalist, linguist and translator; he was the publisher of al-Djawa’ib, the first Arabic newspaper not controlled by the government. A contemporary of Victor Hugo, Gustave Flaubert, Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Dickens, he maintained contacts with European intellectuals and Orientalists as well as Arab thinkers, especially those of a reformist tendency. As a master of the Arabic language who understood its subtlest nuances and commanded the art of rhetoric, he was also one of its most important modernisers.
Published in Paris in 1855, al-Saq ‘ala al-saq fi ma huwa al-Faryaq (One Leg Crossed Over The Other) is a literary masterpiece that transcends and surpasses the purely “documentary”.
It is a work in four parts, nearly 700 pages long, and the fourth section deals mainly with the periods spent in Europe by the author. It also cuts across all genres: not a classical traveller’s tale, not really an autobiography and not a pure lexicographical study, yet Shidyaq’s book manages to be all these things at once.

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