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Prophetic TranslationThe Making of Modern Egyptian Literature$
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Maya Kesrouany

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474407403

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474407403.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 16 September 2021

The Hero at Home: Muḥammad al-Sibāī and Thomas Carlyle

The Hero at Home: Muḥammad al-Sibāī and Thomas Carlyle

(p.114) 3 The Hero at Home: Muḥammad al-Sibāī and Thomas Carlyle
Prophetic Translation

Maya I. Kesrouany

Edinburgh University Press

Chapter three focuses on the more faithful translation aesthetic of Muḥammad al-Sibā‘ī, reading specifically his 1911 rendition of Thomas Carlyle’s lectures On Heroes, Hero-worship, and the Heroic in History (1841). Challenging Carlyle’s condescending approach to the Muslim prophet, al-Sibā‘ī’s translation rewrites the differences between the Prophet’s Muḥammad’s prophecy and Shakespeare’s genius that informs Carlyle’s account. The chapter argues that al-Sibā‘ī’s translation – apart from its translator’s original intention – offers a critique of colonial liberalism by noting the contradictions in Carlyle’s “secular” readings of Islam. As such, the chapter explores this “secularity” as a critique of the self-orientalizing mode of the translators under study. It extends this critique to al-Sibā‘ī’s adaptation of Charles Dickens in 1912 and its rewriting of the complicity between realism and liberalism in the British tradition.

Keywords:   Secularism, Thomas Carlyle, Charles Dickens, realism, orality, liberalism, al-adīb

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