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Translating Pre-Islamic Arabic Poetry: Challenges and Opportunities

Kareem James Abu-Zeid, Translator, Writer, and Editor

October 22, 2018 · 12:00 pm1:30 pm EDT · 144 Louis A. Simpson Building

Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication

This talk will focus on what is often considered the very first text of the Arabic language, Imru al-Qays’ long mu’allaqa or “hanging poem” (6th century CE). Kareem will read most of his new translation of the mu’allaqa and discuss the creative challenges and opportunities presented by this text and the other pre-Islamic “hanging poems,” including questions of translating words vs. translating images, and the issue of how to convey elements of a very foreign environmental and cultural landscape.

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