The complete review 's Review: The Lamp of Umm Hashim contains only four stories by Yahya Hakki, presented in order of size -- from the first only five pages long to the title story, which takes up about half of the volume. It makes for a limited introduction to the author, but is enough to showcase his talents. The first piece, 'Story in the Form of a Petition' presents an amusing story in the unlikely form of an official petition registering the loss of some items by a friend of petitioner Hakki with the twist at the end that he has, in fact, lost considerably more than the few items enumerated.
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Darel Kutub No. Other writers who participated in that renaissance included the scholar and man of letters Taha Hussein, the playwright Tewfik al-H kim, the pioneer writer of the short story MahmoudTeymour, and, of course, the novelist Naguib Mahfouz.
Yahya Hakki's works number several volumes of short stories and critical writings, including a short book about the Egyptian short story.
He was also influential in the encouragement he gave to younger writers through his personal contacts with them and his position as editor of the literary monthly al-Magalla, which he edited with flair and imagination for many years.
The present volume contains a few examples of his output in the field of fiction, among them Vlll fhe Lamp ofUmm Hashim ]1 1] ] "j Jhis Jongest and best known work, the novella "The Lamp of Umm Hashim," first published in This was the first fictional work in Arabic to deal with the psychological difficulties that were faced by students returning home aftet being sent to Europe to complete their studies.
Though published more than half a century ago, it can still be read with pleasure, for the themes around which it revolvesas summed up in Kipling's lines about east and west never being able to meetare still relevant.
The novella tells the story of a young man who, after financial sacrifices by his father, goes to England to pursue his medical studies. He comes from a conservative family and is torn between the new influences to which he is exposed in England, including a love affair with an English girl, and his own religious upbringing.
On his return to Cairo, this struggle is epitomized when he has to treat the eye complaint of Fatima, his cousin and bride-to-be; the novella recounts his attempts to reconcile the scientific knowledge he has acquired in the west with the superstitious beliefs held by his own mother and the inhabitants of the poor district in which he decides to practice medicine.
Early on in his career as a lawyerhe was later to become a diplomat and to spend several periods serving both in the Arab world and in EuropeYahya Hakki worked for some time in Upper Egypt, where he came to have an affectionate understanding for the peasants who labor under its scorch Ihinsliitor'i Introduction ix ing sun and harsh conditions.
Hakki, however, possessed in marked degree a sympathetic rapport with the underdog, combined with an ability to depict, in a way that was not at all condescending, characters from the humbler walks of lire.
I his can be seen in the short story "Mother oi the Destitute," in which he creates an atmosphere not dissimilar to that of his novella, and where the 'chorus' to this fable-story is composed of that mass of teeming humanity that crowd the square in which so much of the action occurs. I he very early and very short "Story in the Form of a Petition.
When writing about peasants, as in "Story from Prison," Hakki shows how the colloquial language can be used to give an extra dimension to creative writing, in particular where dialogue in concerned.
Much of the story is recounted in the words of the gipsy protagonist and shows how the writer, famed for his rich, condensed style in the classical language, was able to employ the colloquial language with equal imagination to draw a lifelike portrait of a character who would be quite incapable of expressing himself in the literary language.
A degree of realism is thus achieved that would be impossible if the classical language were used exclusively for such stories. It is surely significant that, for instance, Tewfik al-Hakim, a leading contributor to the creation of a modern Arabic literature, also exploited the rare richness of Egypt's spoken language in many of his writings, including the novel translated under the title Maze of Justice; Yusuf Idris, too, a younger writer much admired by Hakki, enriched many of his short stories by drawing on his command of the colloquial language.
If the criteria to be taken into consideration are purely aesthetic, then the colloquial language must surely form an additional weapon in the armory of anyone writing in Arabic. Individual writers must of course come to their own decision about this. Of the major writers in Egypt it is only Naguib Mahfouz who has turned his back on the colloquial language, though when his novels have been adapted for the screen, his characters regain their natural voices.
For a man who made his career outside academic life, Yahya Hakki was unusually widely read in the classical tradition of literature, in both poetry and prose. In his advice to younger writers he always stressed the importance of possessing a true mastery of the language in which one was seeking to convey one's thoughts.
ARBCF14 Modern Arabic Literature 10/1/ Reading Questions:Yahya Haqqi’s “The Lamp of Umm Hashim” 1) In what ways do the themes of sight and sightlessness in “The Lamp of Umm Hashim” conform to and deviate from the representation of blindness in Taha Husayn’sAn Egyptian. Nov 16, · Scientific Facts Proving Charles An analysis of rising house prices Darwin's Theory of Cheap essay buy Evolution is Wrong, False, and Impossible. 12, - April an analysis of the existence of god and the concept by charles darwin 19, ) was an English naturalist renowned the struggle for survival in the lamp of umm hashim a book by yahya. In the Lamp of Umm Hashim, Naima and Ismail both represent a human struggle to survive. The fictional artifice is evident here for Naima is virtually an alter ego for Ismail himself. If Naima prostituted her body, Ismail, “the educated, young man cultured and intelligent,”(pg) prostitute.
He deplored the way in which, year by year, there was a palpable decline in people's knowledge at all levels of the Arabic language.
He asked that those in authority face up to the fact that Arabic, unlike European languages, possesses both a written and a spoken form; he felt the problem lay in the fact that the classical language was being taught as though it were another foreign language. During his years as a diplomat he had lived abroad, only resigning from the service after marrying a Frenchwoman.
This was his second marriage, for his first wife had died tragically young after giving birth to a daughter.
It was thus after a short career in the law, followed by several years in the Foreign Service, that Yahya Hakki began to devote all his time to making his name as a man of letters. Despite the difference in age, he and 1 became friends during the years between and when I was living permanently in Cairo and teaching at Cairo University.
It seems that we both left Cairo at about the same time, for going through some old papers recently, I found a letter from him sent to me in Teheran. The letter-heading was that of the Egyptian Embassy in Paris; it was written with the same warmth and wit, in a light-hearted mixture of the classical and colloquial languages, as he used in the letters he wrote to his daughter Noha.
These have been collected and published under the title Rasa'il Yahya Haqqi da ibnatihi 'Yahya Hakki's Letters to His Daughter'with an introduction by Naguib Mahfouz, who was a close friend and admirer of Hakki's and had at one time worked under him.
Before leaving Cairo in I discussed with Yahya Hakki my wish to produce a general volume of short stories in English translation that would show how the short story was being practiced throughout the Arab world. No such project had previously been undertaken and it would, I felt, do something about putting modern Arabic literature 'on the map,' especially if it were to come out from an established English publisher.
So, while living outside Egypt yet paying regular visits, I would call on Yahya Hakki. On each occasion he would greet me with a mischievous smile and xii?
The Lamp ofUmm Hashim would inquire, like some co-conspirator, how my famous volume of Arabic short stories was faring. We both secretly shared the thought that it was little more than a pipe dream! In fact, it took some twenty years before I had gathered sufficient material for such a volume, after which I was still faced with the formidable task for someone without the necessary contactsof finding a publisher willing to undertake such an unusual project.
Nevertheless, the day did come when, by great good fortune, I chanced upon 'someone who knew someone' at Oxford University Press. The book was accepted for publication on the understanding that it was a work of scholarship. Needless to say, it contained a story by him.
Yahya Hakki was the most caring of people, and this caring embraced people from all walks of life and extended as well to animals.The Lamp of Umm Hashim is an enjoyable small collection, well worth reading -- and one hopes to find more of this obviously talented storyteller's fiction eventually available in translation.
(Note: In our edition of the book the first page of two of the stories are misprinted -- . Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Lamp of Umm Hashim at ph-vs.com Read honest and unbiased product reviews I liked his style and the main short story of the book - the Lamp of Umm Hashim - is very good.
His dilemma was symbolized eventually by a struggle with his family over the best way to treat his fiancée's eye. In this book Jami-ul-Usool Shaikh Ahmed (Rahmatullah Alayh) wrote: “The act of insulting and the use of derogatory words (language) against those saintly sufis who are the true followers of the Sunnat and destroyers of bid’at (innovations) and especially those elders who are possessors of the Beneficial Knowledge of Islam and performers of righteous deeds.
Apr 08, · Every Friday, ArabLit suggests a new classic film-book combination — for you to watch and read — until we run out of steam about 20 weeks in: This week it’s a novella by Yahia Haqqi (), The Lamp of Umm Hashem ().
The Lamp is perhaps Haqqi’s best-known work. ARBCF14 Modern Arabic Literature 10/1/ Reading Questions:Yahya Haqqi’s “The Lamp of Umm Hashim” 1) In what ways do the themes of sight and sightlessness in “The Lamp of Umm Hashim” conform to and deviate from the representation of blindness in Taha Husayn’sAn Egyptian.
Book Description: Together with such figures as the scholar Taha Hussein, the playwright Tawfik al-Hakim, the short story writer Mahmoud Teymour and—of course—Naguib Mahfouz, Yahya Hakki belongs to that distinguished band of early writers who, midway through the last century, under the influence of Western literature, began to practice genres of creative writing that were new to the traditions of .