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  • Introduction: Translating Civil War

    Jens Hanssen Hicham Safieddine

    Chapter from the book: Al-Bustani, B. 2019. The Clarion of Syria: A Patriot’s Call against the Civil War of 1860.


    His mastery of Arabic notwithstanding, Butrus al-Bustani struggled to find the right language to translate the horrors of the civil war into lessons learned. The task of rendering his interpretation legible in English more than a century and a half later is a double struggle of translating text and context. The introduction provides an analysis of the historical context and the author’s place in it, as well as the text’s literary style, conceptual experiments, and political claims. It also sums up the book’s two parts. Part 1 provides context—historical, conceptual, and biographical—to the war, the work at hand, and its author. Part 2 offers the first full translation of all eleven pamphlets.

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    Al-Bustani, B. 2019. Introduction: Translating Civil War. In: Al-Bustani, B, The Clarion of Syria. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.67.a

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    Published on April 30, 2019