This Friday in London, Anton Shammas gives the inaugural annual lecture of the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation:
According to organizers:
He explores the hitherto concealed connections between Arabic learning and western literature and art. He asks why Cervantes would claim that Don Quixote, ‘the first great novel of world literature’ was a history translated from Arabic, paying tribute to the vanished Muslim population of Spain; how the foundational Optics of 11th-century Cairo mathematician Ibn Al-Haytham ignited the Renaissance when translated into Latin and Italian; and considers the often unconscious transcribing of these influences into the work of later artists and writers, including Velazquez, Picasso and William Faulkner.
Shammas is a Palestinian author, academic, and translator who works in and between Arabic, Hebrew and English, and is Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he’s been since 1997.
He is currently at work on a collection Blind Spots and Other Essays on Translation.
There will be video; it’s not entirely clear if it will be available to the public. If you’re in London, you can book tickets online.
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