Arabs and the Art of Storytelling
A Strange Familiarity
Translated from the French by Mbarek Sryfi and Eric Sellin
Foreword by Roger Allen
2015 French-American Foundation Translation
"Graceful, thought-provoking, erudite, Abdelfattah Kilito illuminates the
Arabic narrative tradition and narrative itself."—Gerald Prince, University of Pennsylvania
"Arabs and the Art of Storytelling showcases Kilito’s signature creativity
and boldness as a critic. Sryfi and Sellin, with their thoughtful translation,
have done a service to readers of Arabic and to anyone interested in literary
culture. The field of Arabic studies is that much richer for their efforts."—Samuel England, University of Wisconsin
Abdelfattah Kilito is an acclaimed Moroccan novelist, essayist, and critic. He has written
several important works on classical Arabic literature, both in French and Arabic, many of
which have been translated into numerous languages, including French, German, Spanish,
Italian, and English. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the French Academy
Award in 1996. Mbarek Sryfi is a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania and an adjunct assistant professor at Mercer County Community College in New Jersey. His translations have appeared in
CELAAN, Metamorphoses, and World Literature Today. Eric Sellin is professor emeritus at Tulane University. He is the author of two books on Antonin Artaud and on early twentieth-century avant-garde movements.
Book Description »[Hide »]
In Arabs and the Art of Storytelling, the eminent Moroccan literary historian and
critic Kilito revisits and reassesses, in a modern critical light, many traditional narratives
of the Arab world. He brings to such celebrated texts as A Thousand and
One Nights, Kalila and Dimna, and Kitab al-Bukhala’ refreshing and iconoclastic
insight, giving new life to classic stories that are often treated as fossilized and
untouchable cultural treasures.
For Arab scholars and readers, poetry has for centuries taken precedence,
overshadowing narrative as a significant literary genre. Here, Kilito demonstrates
the key role narrative has played in the development of Arab belles
lettres and moral philosophy. His urbane style has earned him a devoted following
among specialists and general readers alike, making this translation an
invaluable contribution to an English-speaking audience.
View other series books on Middle East Literature in Translation.
5 1/2 x 8 1/2, 192 pages, notes, bibliography, index,