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Memories in Translation: A Life Between the Lines of Arabic Literature
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Memories in Translation: A Life Between the Lines of Arabic Literature

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  44 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Nobody has done more for modern Arabic literature in translation than Denys Johnson-Davies, described by the late Edward Said as "the leading Arabic English translator of our time." With more than twenty-five volumes of translated Arabic novels, short stories, plays, and poetry to his name, and a career spanning some sixty years, he has brought the works of a host of write ...more
Hardcover, 139 pages
Published March 15th 2006 by American University in Cairo Press (first published February 28th 2005)
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Radwa
Sep 09, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
كتاب أشبه بمذكرات أو لمحات خاطفة من حياة أحد المستشرقين ومترجمين الأدب العربي للإنجليزية، وهو البريطاني دنيس جونسون ديفز. استمتعت باللحظات اللي بيتكلم فيها عن حياته وعن المواقف الفارقة اللي كانت حياته ممكن تاخد فيها شكل مختلف تمامًا لو مكنش كرس نفسه للغة العربية بالشكل ده.

الكتاب بيطرح بدايات تعلمه للغة العربية في إنجلترا، وخاصة أنه كان قد قضى معظم سنوات عمره قبل وبعد ذلك في دول عربية، وكيف قاده حرصه على فهم اللغة العربية للتعرف على أهم أدباء العرب في عصره. المثير للإهتمام أن الترجمة - كما شدد كث
...more
Caroline
Mar 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a jumble, but a most useful jumble.

Johnson-Davies couldn't settle down to school, after he was sent back to England at 14. He had grown up in Egypt, Sudan, Uganda and Kenya . Finding Latin and Greek too hard, he asked to study Arabic (!). A rather helter-skelter education, interrupted by the war, which he spent translating for the war effort, ended him up in Egypt, where he lived for much of his life (save for a mid-career stint as a lawyer back in England).

Being a non-conformist, living in
...more
Marieke
Oct 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: students of Arabic
I started off my new year by reading a book from cover to cover. Today is Saturday and so I have decided to set this insane behavior as my 2011 personal theme: each Saturday morning I'll read a short book in its entirety. Just for kicks.

This particular book is one i've meant to have read for quite some time. It is the short memoir of one of the foremost translators of modern Arabic literature into English and for that reason, this is not a book for everyone, but definitely a book for me. :D

I en
...more
Mohammed Asiri
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Translation is an art that requires considerably more than simply having a knowledge of two different languages"

This little inspiring expression tells you how I was joyful while I was reading this book.

How do you think reading book that is written by one who spends most of his life traveling around Arab world?! What do you think about reading a book that tells you real stories with Najeeb Mahfouz, Yousef Idris, Tyeb Saleh, and other great writers in the Arab world?! Do you want to read how Nob
...more
Maroi
Jul 05, 2020 rated it liked it
I've translated few chapters of this book into Arabic.
As a translator myself, I have but respect to such a man. This respect is not based upon his traductorial skills (I in fact didn't have the chance to read any of translations yet) but the fact that he made a name for himself when it is a rare luxury for any translator to have.
Anyway this book was an enjoyable read, not particularly inspiring however. It's a human experience of a man that was lucky to meet great men and contribute in making
...more
Karl Galle
Mar 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
A brief tour through the world of Arabic literature in translation, as seen through the eyes and career of one of its most prolific English translators. Johnson-Davies does not try to provide a deep analysis of different literary themes or traditions in the Arab-speaking lands, and this is also not a detailed autobiography. Nevertheless, the arc of his career and his interactions with some of the region's most distinguished writers offer insights into how difficult it has been to attract readers ...more
Badrul Aini Sha'ari
Jaguh Utama Terjemahan Bahasa Arab-Inggeris Zaman Ini.

Membaca memoir beliau, saya sangat bersetuju dengan pujian Edward Said kepada beliau: “The leading Arabic-English translator of our time.”

Mana tidaknya, beliau adalah orang yang berjasa besar memperkenalkan karya-karya sasterawan, karyawan, penulis dan penyair Arab kepada dunia.

Beliau juga pakar yang dirujuk oleh penganjur Hadiah Nobel untuk kategori sastera pada tahun 1988.

Ada cerita di sebalik cerita bagaimana Naguib Mahfouz yang menang me
...more
Jld
Aug 02, 2008 rated it liked it
I am a huge admirer of Mr. Johnson-Davies (in fact I am attempting to collect each of the titles he has translated) and was thrilled to see he wrote about his unconventional personal life. The book was a fascinating account of his encounters with Arab authors over the years and how he became such a prolific translator but I would have loved to have read more about his personal life and reflections.
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Denys Johnson-Davies (Arabic: دنيس جونسون ديڤيز) (1922-2017) was an eminent Arabic-to-English literary translator who has translated, inter alia, several works by Nobel Prize-winning Egyptian author Naguib Mahfouz, Sudanese author Tayeb Salih, Palestinian poet Mahmud Darwish and Syrian author Zakaria Tamer.

Davies, referred to as “the leading Arabic-English translator of our time” by the late Edwa
...more

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