22 de noviembre de 2009

Tawfiq al-Hakim y Massignon

One day when I was visiting him at al-Ahram, he opened the drawer of his desk and produced, with evident glee, a letter from the great French Arabist Louis Massignon [...]. The letter, I was surprised to see, was written in Arabic and contained a number of grammatical errors, and it was these that Tewfik al-Hakim wanted to point out to me. Why, I asked myself, had Massignon risked writing in Arabic to someone he knew very well was perfectly able to read a letter in French? I myself studiously avoid writing in Arabic unless forced to do so, only too aware of the delight caused by any mistakes I might make.
---Denys Johnson-Davies, Memories in Translation. A Life between the Lines of Arabic Literature, The AUC Press, 2006, p. 35.

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