Book Cover
Author Kilito, Abdelfattah, 1945-

Title Thou shalt not speak my language / Abdelfattah Kilito ; translated from the Arabic by Waïl S. Hassan
Edition 1st ed
Published Syracuse, N.Y. : Syracuse University Press, 2008
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (xxvi, 102 pages)
Series Middle East literature in translation
Middle East literature in translation.
Contents In the mirror -- The translator -- Illusion -- Between movement and stillness -- Images -- The stage in between -- Thou dost not, and shalt not, speak my language -- Epilogue
Summary "It has been said that the difference between a language and a dialect is that a language is a dialect with an army. Both the act of translation and bilingualism are steeped in a tension between surrender and conquest, yielding conscious and unconscious effects on language. First published in Arabic in 2002, Abdelfattah Kilito's Thou Shalt Not Speak My Language explores the tension between dynamics of literary influence and canon formation within the Arabic literary tradition. As one of the Arab world's most original and provocative literary critics, Kilito challenges the reader to reexamine contemporary notions of translation, bilingualism, postcoloniality, and the discipline of comparative literature. Waïl S. Hassan's superb translation makes Thou Shalt Not Speak My Language available to an English-speaking audience for the first time, capturing the charm and elegance of the original in a chaste and seemingly effortless style. At the center of Kilito's work is his insistence on the ethics of translation. He explores the effects of translation on the genres of poetry, narrative prose, and philosophy. Kilito highlights the problem of cultural translation as an interpretive process and as an essential element of comparative literary studies. In close readings of al-Jahiz, Ibn Rushd, al-Saffar, and al-Shidyaq, among others, he traces the shifts in attitude toward language and translation from the centuries of Arab cultural ascendancy to the contemporary period, interrogating along the way how the dynamics of power mediate literary encounters across cultural, linguistic, and political lines."--Jacket
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 99-102)
Notes Translated from Arabic
Print version record
Subject Arabic literature -- Miscellanea
Arabic literature.
Genre/Form Trivia and miscellanea.
Form Electronic book
Author Hassan, Waïl S.
ISBN 0815654251
Other Titles Lan tatakallama lughatī. English