Issuu on Google+

LIBRARY OF ARABIC LITERATURE

“These LAL translations can be pored over by experts and students of the classical Arabic tradition, and the same books offer the non-Arabist, scholar and amateur alike, immediate access to the rich colour of the classical Arabic tradition.” - TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT -

The Excellence of the Arabs

Scents and Flavors

IBN QUTAYBAH Edited by JAMES MONTGOMERY and PETER WEBB Translated by SARAH B. SAVANT and PETER WEBB

A Syrian Cookbook

Written by one of the most prolific scholars of the early Abbasid era, The Excellence of the Arabs is a spirited defense of Arab identity—its merits, values, and origins—at a time of political unrest and fragmentation.

IBN QUTAYBAH THE EXCELLENCE OF THE ARABS

L

I

B

R

A

R

Y

O

F

A

R

A

B

I

C

L

I

T

E

R

A

T

U

R

E

In the cosmopolitan milieu of Baghdad, the social prestige attached to claims of Arab tribal affiliation had begun to decline. Anxious to uphold the elite status of Arabs and their superior heritage in the face of change and uncertainty, Ibn Qutaybah (213-76 H/828-89 AD) expresses contempt for members of his society that belittled Arabness and vaunted the glories of Persian heritage and culture. Edited by JAMES E. MONTGOMERY and PETER WEBB

Translated by SARAH BOWEN SAVANT and PETER WEBB

The Excellence of the Arabs has two parts. The first, Arab Preeminence, accuses his opponents of blasphemous envy, and takes the form of an extended argument for Arab privilege. The second, The Excellence of Arab Learning, describes fields of knowledge in which Ibn Qutaybah believed pre-Islamic Arabians excelled, such as astronomy, divination, horse husbandry, and poetry. And by incorporating extensive excerpts from the poetic heritage—“the archive of the Arabs”—Ibn Qutaybah aims to demonstrate that poetry is itself sufficient corroboration of Arab superiority.

JAMES E. MONTGOMERY is Sir Thomas Adams’s Professor of Arabic at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Trinity Hall. SARAH BOWEN SAVANT is Associate Professor at The Aga Khan University, London. PETER WEBB is Lecturer in Arabic literature and culture at the University of Leiden. MARCH 2017 400 PAGES CLOTH • 978-1-4798-0957-8 • $40.00S (£33.00) ARABIC LITERATURE WWW.NYUPRESS.ORG

Edited and Translated by CHARLES PERRY

This popular 13th-century Syrian cookbook is an ode to what its anonymous author calls the “greater part of the SCENTS AND FLAVORS pleasure of this life,” namely the A SYRIAN COOKBOOK consumption of food and drink. Collecting 635 meticulous recipes, Scents and Flavors invites us to savor an inventive cuisine that elevates simple ingredients by combining the sundry aromas of herbs, spices, fruits, and flower essences. L

I

B

R

A

R

Y

O

F

A

R

A

B

I

C

L

I

T

E

R

A

T

U

R

E

Edited and translated by CHARLES PERRY Reviewed by DAVID WAINES

Organized like a meal, it opens with appetizers and juices and proceeds through main courses, side dishes, and desserts, including such confections as candies based on the higher densities of sugar syrup— an innovation unique to the medieval Arab world. Apricot beverages, stuffed eggplant, pistachio chicken, coriander stew, melon crepes, and almond pudding are seasoned with nutmeg, rose, cloves, saffron, and the occasional rare ingredient like ambergris to delight and surprise the banqueter. Bookended by chapters on perfumes, incenses, medicinal oils, antiperspirant powders, and after-meal hand soaps, this is a delectable and comprehensive culinary journey. Scents and Flavors quickly became a bestseller during this golden age of cookbooks, and remains today a delectable read for epicures and cultural historians alike. CHARLES PERRY is a culinary historian who has written widely on cooking in the medieval Middle East. He has published and consulted widely on Middle Eastern food history, and has translated a number of pre-modern texts, including A Baghdad Cookery Book: The Book of Dishes. MAY 2017 352 PAGES CLOTH • 978-1-4798-5628-2 • $40.00S (£33.00) ARABIC LITERATURE • FOOD SPR I NG 2017 • NY U PRESS

41


NYU Press Spring 2017