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He is the author and editor of more than twenty books on Arabic Studies. Mohammed Rustom obtained a Ph. An internationally recognized expert on Islamic philosophy, Sufism, and Quranic hermeneutics, his works have been translated into Albanian, French, German, Persian, Spanish, and Turkish.

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He had published on various aspects of the emergence of Islamic civilization and has also conducted archaeological work in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and currently Azerbaijan. Marcel Kurpershoek is a Dutch Arabist and diplomat. He has served in many diplomatic postings, including as the Netherlands ambassador to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkey, and Poland and, his last assignment, as special envoy for Syria.


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He studied in Cairo and at Leiden University where he held a chair in Arabic literature and politics while serving as Middle East and North Africa director at the Foreign Ministry Tim Mackintosh-Smith is a fan of Arabic travel literature, and the author of several books of his own travels. Dwight F. After leaving the U. He obtained his Ph. His research and publications deal with Arabic literature, Arab folklore, oral epic traditions, medieval Arabic autobiography, and a variety of different musical traditions of the Middle East and medieval Muslim Spain.

His research interests include the cultural history of the early Abbasid caliphate, Maltese language and literature, and time travel as a literary device. Joseph E. The second part demonstrates a wide variety of literary approaches to the interpretation of individual prophetic hadiths. Philip F. James E. Montgomery, University of Cambridge Executive Editor. These epiphanies became obsessions. He dropped his study of Latin and graduated with a degree in Greek and Arabic from the University of Glasgow ; began a DPhil on the pre-Islamic panegyric at Balliol College, Oxford from , a work which he never finished he hopes he still has the fruits of his labour in a box in his attic ; married his wife in ; submitted a second PhD on pre-Islamic poetry to the University of Glasgow in He has also in the course of his life acquired some other obsessions: three wonderful children Natasha, Sam and Josh; a Victorian house which he and Yvonne have been restoring; and two dogs: Jullius and Findus.

At the moment he is enjoying the discography of Sonny Rollins.

Arabic Literature and Translation

For the last 15 years he has been reading the works of al-Jahiz in earnest, something which he relishes and dreads in equal measure. His favourite place is the Isle of Barra on the Outer Hebrides. Shawkat M.

She has written the chapter on medieval to early modern Arabic literature for the New Cambridge History of Islam Cambridge, and a survey of gender in medieval Arabic writing and modern historical scholarship for L. Daniel Defoe 's Moll Flanders is an early example. Charles Dickens ' David Copperfield is another such classic, and J. Salinger 's The Catcher in the Rye is a well-known modern example of fictional autobiography. The term may also apply to works of fiction purporting to be autobiographies of real characters, e.

In antiquity such works were typically entitled apologia , purporting to be self-justification rather than self-documentation. John Henry Newman 's Christian confessional work first published in is entitled Apologia Pro Vita Sua in reference to this tradition. The pagan rhetor Libanius c. Augustine — applied the title Confessions to his autobiographical work, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau used the same title in the 18th century, initiating the chain of confessional and sometimes racy and highly self-critical, autobiographies of the Romantic era and beyond.

Augustine's was arguably the first Western autobiography ever written, and became an influential model for Christian writers throughout the Middle Ages. It tells of the hedonistic lifestyle Augustine lived for a time within his youth, associating with young men who boasted of their sexual exploits; his following and leaving of the anti-sex and anti-marriage Manichaeism in attempts to seek sexual morality; and his subsequent return to Christianity due to his embracement of Skepticism and the New Academy movement developing the view that sex is good, and that virginity is better, comparing the former to silver and the latter to gold; Augustine's views subsequently strongly influenced Western theology [4].

Confessions will always rank among the great masterpieces of western literature. In the spirit of Augustine's Confessions is the 12th-century Historia Calamitatum of Peter Abelard , outstanding as an autobiographical document of its period. One of the first great autobiographies of the Renaissance is that of the sculptor and goldsmith Benvenuto Cellini — , written between and , and entitled by him simply Vita Italian : Life. He declares at the start: "No matter what sort he is, everyone who has to his credit what are or really seem great achievements, if he cares for truth and goodness, ought to write the story of his own life in his own hand; but no one should venture on such a splendid undertaking before he is over forty.

Another autobiography of the period is De vita propria , by the Italian mathematician, physician and astrologer Gerolamo Cardano It is often claimed that the earliest known autobiography in English is the early 15th-century Book of Margery Kempe , describing among other things Kempe's pilgrimage to the Holy Land and visit to Rome although it is, at best, only a partial autobiography and arguably more a memoir of religious experiences.

The book remained in manuscript and was not published until Possibly the first publicly available autobiography written in English was Captain John Smith's autobiography published in [7] which was regarded by many as not much more than a collection of tall tales told by someone of doubtful veracity. This changed with the publication of Philip Barbour's definitive biography in which, amongst other things, established independent factual bases for many of Smith's "tall tales", many of which could not have been known by Smith at the time of writing unless he was actually present at the events recounted.

Jarena Lee — was the first African American woman to have a published biography in the United States. Following the trend of Romanticism , which greatly emphasized the role and the nature of the individual, and in the footsteps of Jean-Jacques Rousseau 's Confessions , a more intimate form of autobiography, exploring the subject's emotions, came into fashion. Stendhal 's autobiographical writings of the s, The Life of Henry Brulard and Memoirs of an Egotist , are both avowedly influenced by Rousseau. With the rise of education, cheap newspapers and cheap printing, modern concepts of fame and celebrity began to develop, and the beneficiaries of this were not slow to cash in on this by producing autobiographies.

It became the expectation—rather than the exception—that those in the public eye should write about themselves—not only writers such as Charles Dickens who also incorporated autobiographical elements in his novels and Anthony Trollope , but also politicians e. Henry Brooks Adams , philosophers e. Increasingly, in accordance with romantic taste, these accounts also began to deal, amongst other topics, with aspects of childhood and upbringing—far removed from the principles of "Cellinian" autobiography.

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From the 17th century onwards, "scandalous memoirs" by supposed libertines , serving a public taste for titillation, have been frequently published. Typically pseudonymous , they were and are largely works of fiction written by ghostwriters. So-called "autobiographies" of modern professional athletes and media celebrities—and to a lesser extent about politicians—generally written by a ghostwriter , are routinely published.

Some celebrities, such as Naomi Campbell , admit to not having read their "autobiographies".

Interpreting the Self: Autobiography in the Arabic Literary Tradition

Autobiography has become an increasingly popular and widely accessible form. Maggie Nelson 's book The Argonauts is one of the recent autobiographies. Maggie Nelson calls it "autotheory"—a combination of autobiography and critical theory. A genre where the "claim for truth" overlaps with fictional elements though the work still purports to be autobiographical is autofiction.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Autobiography disambiguation.