Yūsuf Al-S̲h̲irbīnī's Kitāb Hazz Al-quḥūf Bi-S̲h̲arḥ Qaṣīd Abī S̲h̲ādūf: Arabic text

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Peeters, 2005 - Social Science - 519 pages
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The work, written in 1686 or soon after, takes the form of a lengthy introduction to and commentary on a poem supposedly composed by an Egyptian peasant in which the latter describes the ill times on which he has fallen and lists the dishes he dreams of eating. This format allows the author both to attack rural society (which he divides into peasants, jurisprudents [fuqaha'], and Sufis [fuqara']) and to play for comic effect with the conventions of the then central text-and-commentary genre. In so doing, he not only provides important information on rural Lower Egypt during an understudied period but reveals many of the concerns of the educated vis-a-vis the masses, whether rural or urban. The work also contains the longest passages of colloquial Egyptian known from before the nineteenth century.

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