Abū Shādūf: Library of Arabic Literature Book

Unique in pre-twentieth-century Arabic literature for taking the countryside as its central theme, Yusuf al-Shirbini’s Brains Confounded combines a mordant satire on seventeenth-century Egyptian rural society with a hilarious parody of the verse-and-commentary genre so beloved by scholars of his day.

in Volume One al-Shirbini discusses three different of the rural “types”–peasant farmer, village man of religion and the rural dervish, revealing a myriad of anecdo which reveal the lack of knowledge of the people, their dirtiness and lack of religious knowledge, and the crimes committed by each. 

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Then, he follows by introducing the second volume Two with a poem that is 47 lines long that is believed to be written by a villager known as Abu Shaduf, who charts the ups and downs of his fortunes and laments most of all the inaccessibility to tasty food items to which his poor living conditions have caused him to be a victim.

 Utilizing the tools of scholarly the elite literary world, al-Shirbini reacts to the poem in a manner of mockery and ridicule, sprinkling his satire on the ignorant rural with a myriad of tangents to food, love and flatulence.

The book is funny, hilarious and savage, Brains Confounded is part of a genre that is not well-known that is largely unstudied in Egypt’s Ottoman history. It is an outstanding work in significance for studying the premodern dialect of Egyptian Arabic, pitting the “coarse” rural population against “refined” urbane and refined in a struggle for cultural and religious supremacy with a major focus on the writing of poetry as a gauge of social acceptance.

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Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0171WAJTG
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ NYU Press; Bilingual edition
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ July 12, 2016
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 1505 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 465 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
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