Monday, 21 July 2014

I knew I'd find it eventually - One of my heroes: Roger Allen

'She grabs her prey without pause, just as suckling mothers
hug their children.'

Comparing a female hunting dog and a doomed animal or bird to breastfeeding mothers and the wanting babies. No way will anyone get between one and the other. Or if they do, they are thwarting nature.

Ibn al-Mu'tazz,  on p197 of the very wonderful book by Roger Allen, The Arabic Literary Heritage, Cambridge University Press, 1988. I have borrowed it for 6 months already and am only half way through it. I may need to buy a 2nd hand copy from Amazon. It is one of those books where every paragraph is full of new information and the writing is clear and direct.

He mentions a flight he took in 1988 where his fellow passenger had a hooded falcon perched on his arm. I'd love to read more by Roger Allen, has he written a blog or memoirs? If not, why not? If you read this, please give it a go.

 Banipal Trust for Arab Literature - The Banipal Translation Prize - The 2010 Award

Prof. Roger Allen, Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature, gives interview and book recommendations

Al-Ahram Weekly | Culture | Between words: Living languages | Fascinated by the Arab World

Notes from a Translation Masterclass with Roger Allen « Arabic Literature (in English)


  1. When I wrote 'it' I meant my favourite topic, the mother/baby dyad. H rolls his eyes when I mention labour, birth or beastfeeding...he also warns me not to say a single word of Arabic either. He can try all he likes, it doesn't work. He can tell from the gleam in my eye that I am about to point out something significant and tries to stop me :)

  2. ! just noticed the freudian slip of 'beastfeeding' missing the crucial 'r'. I even spelt 'Freudian' wrongly...fraudian...another slip


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