restricted access Acknowledgments
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xiii Acknowledgments Ibegan this translation as an undergraduate at Cornell University, where it served as my senior thesis in 2006, and continued working on it off and on throughout graduate school at UCLA. This work has been so long in the making that I must have forgotten some people who helped make it possible. I should first thank them, whoever they may be. Next I should thank Devin Stewart, who first suggested the text as suitable to my interests and abilities. He thereby launched what I hope will prove a lifelong love affair with medieval Arabic party-crashing. I should also thank Cornell University’s College Scholar Program, which allowed me to invent my own major (“Literary Translation of Medieval Arabic Prosimetrum”), thus providing me the flexibility to begin this translation as an undergraduate. Shawkat Toorawa, my thesis adviser at Cornell , not only spent countless extra hours guiding Acknowledgments xiv me on my first steps into the ocean of Arabic literature , providing detailed commentary and advice on many of these translated anecdotes, but also warmed my heart with his friendship and humor. My other undergraduate committee members, Kenneth McClane (professor of English), Stan Taft (professor of art), and Ross Brann (professor of Arabic literature), were all similarly inspiring and helpful. Indeed, Ross Brann’s Qur’anic Arabic class first excited my interest in the language. Munther Younes was also always willing to advise me and encourage my interests in Arabic. I must also thank Michael Cooperson, who spent many hours reviewing these translations and generally excelling at his job as my graduate adviser at UCLA. He is an inspiration to me as a brilliant scholar, translator, and illustrator. I also thank Bassam ‘Abd al-Wahhab al-Jabi, most recent editor of the manuscript used in this translation, and Antonella Ghersetti, Italian translator of this text, both of whose work has proved invaluable to my own renderings. I am grateful to Charles Perry and Geert Jan van Gelder for their emergency assistance in identifying an obscurely described party food. Amy Richlin, professor of classics at UCLA, has spent so much time helping me in general that she must surely have facilitated this project in some way. Although this translation would never have happened without the Acknowledgments xv instruction of those people mentioned above, any errors are solely my own. Mary Selden Evans of Syracuse University Press has patiently corresponded with me and negotiated on my behalf for the past five years, and I would like to express my gratitude to her for her unflagging support for this project. I would also like to thank Annette Wenda for her meticulous and friendly copyediting of this translation, as well as Michael Beard, Kelly Balenske, Marcia Hough, Kay Steinmetz , Hannah Albarazi, Katie Laurentiev, Brooke Carey, and my anonymous reviewers. Finally, I must thank my family, who have always encouraged me in every way. My brother Matthew painstakingly edited a former introduction to this work, which does not appear in this volume—just one example of his constant love and support. My brother Ben always made me laugh, and probably crashed some parties himself in his day. I dedicate this translation to my parents, who allowed me to follow my interests wherever they may lead. S E L E C T I O N S F R O M The Art of Party-Crashing in Medieval Iraq ...