It’s pronounced Na-bó-kov, not Ná-bo-kov

Before you all start howling at me (as if), I know that this blog is generally politically-themed, but whether you believe it or not I do sometimes read books between searching for material for my latest update.  In June, after graduating, I bought a whole raft of books from Blackwells in the mistaken belief that I would read them.  It’s now November and the pile has not shrunk appreciably.  Last week, though, I started what might be the crowning jewel of this haul, in terms of how much I have wanted to read it and for how long: Ada or … Continue reading It’s pronounced Na-bó-kov, not Ná-bo-kov

The Rest of the Birds Oppress and Loathe It

I’m well aware of the popularity that the infamous lesbian palm tree text has among my friends, and I thought it would take the opportunity to provide the world with another example.  This is taken from Shihāb al-Dīn al-Nuwayrī’s book Nihāyat al-arab fī funūn al-adab (The Final Goal of the Branches of Art) which, like so many other pre-modern Arabic texts, is concerned with everything.  This excerpt is from the volume about animals, and besides the amusing religious assertion (basically unsupported, and even unmentioned, by anyone else), it is interesting for what it gets wrong – and right – about … Continue reading The Rest of the Birds Oppress and Loathe It