Every student of the twentieth century has heard both of the great Viennese economist Friedrich von Hayek and of the equally great philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. But what isn’t well known is that the two were distant cousins and that, shortly after Wittgenstein’s death in 1951, Hayek set out to write a biography of his cousin. The project was derailed by Wittgenstein family members, who felt it was to soon to publish such a work. But Hayek’s draft acquired an underground readership, and Wittgenstein’s biographers have used it extensively.Here finally, is the text of that work itself. Hayek’s account has the great merit of being close to its subject; the draft, moreover sheds light, not only on Wittgenstein but on Hayek as well. Allan Janik’s elegant afterword makes these links clear. Anyone interested in Wittgenstein or, for that matter, in the thought and culture of the earlier twentieth century, will want to read Christian Erbacher’s excellent edition of Hayek’s draft biography. – Marjorie Perloff
This book presents fifty-one didactic and devotional Sufi poems (with English translations) composed by the ulama of Brava, on Somalia’s Benadir coast, in Chimiini, a Bantu language related to Swahili and unique to the town. Because the six ulama-poets, among whom two women, guided local believers towards correct beliefs and behaviours in reference to specific authoritative religious texts, the poems allow insight into their authors’ religious education, affiliations, in which the Qādiriyyah and Aḥmadiyyah took pride of place, and regional connections. Because the poems refer to local people, places, events, and livelihoods, they also bring into view the uniquely local dimension of Islam in this small East African port city in this time-period.
The Epic of Sumanguru Kante contains the Bamana text and English translation of griot Abdoulaye Sako’s oral narrative of the life of Sumanguru, recorded in 1997 in Koulikoro (Mali), together with explanatory notes, a scholarly introduction, and sections on the Bamana language and musical accompaniment. Sumanguru is a familiar figure within Manding epic oral traditions about ancient Mali. But while these narratives generally focus on Sunjata Keita, Sako’s oral poem is rare in according Sumanguru the central role. In so doing he includes hitherto undocumented episodes relating to Sumanguru’s life and role as the ruler of Soso, the little known state said to have flourished in the western Sudan between the fall of ancient Ghana and rise of ancient Mali.
Sheikh al-Amin Mazrui wrote his essays of this Guidance (
Uwongozi) collection in Mombasa between 1930 and 1932, providing social critique and moral guidance to Kenya’s coastal Muslims during a period of their decline during British colonial rule. The essays were initially published as a series of double-sided pamphlets called Sahifa (The Page), the first Swahili Islamic newspaper. Inspired by contemporary debates of Pan-Islam and Islamic modernism, and with a critical eye on British colonialism, this leading East African modernist takes issue with his peers, in a sharply critical and yet often humorous tone. Al-Amin Mazrui was the first to publish Islamic educational prose and social commentary in Swahili. This bi-lingual edition makes fascinating reading for specialists and general readers.
Foundations of Jurisprudence: An Introduction to Imāmī Shīʿī Legal Theory is a critical edition of the Arabic text with a parallel English translation of
Mabādiʾ al-wuṣūl ilā ʿilm al-uṣūl by al-ʿAllāmah al-Ḥillī, introduced, edited and translated by Sayyid Amjad H. Shah Naqavi.
Al-ʿAllāmah al-Ḥillī participated in the leading debates of his day and applied his vast erudition in philosophy, logic, and theology to the paramount subject of jurisprudence. This text presents an exemplar of the rich revival of Shīʿī scholarship in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries of the Common Era. Concise, yet comprehensive, this work sets the standard for the subsequent development and discussion of Imāmī Shīʿī legal theory, such that its influence can be traced through to modern times. This dual-text edition is indispensable for students and scholars of Imāmi Shīʿī jurisprudence.
First appearing as a series of letters to a local newspaper, “The Life Story of Me, Segilola” caused a sensation in Lagos in the late 1920s. The lifelike autobiography of a repentant courtesan, it regaled the reader with risqué escapades, pious moralising and vivid evocations of urban popular culture. The narrative and the commentary that sprang up around it in the Yoruba press offer a unique view of life in colonial Lagos. Today it is recognised as I.B.Thomas's work and hailed as the first Yoruba novel in a major African literary tradition. This volume presents the edited Yoruba text with translation, selected newspaper correspondence, and an introductory essay showing how the text emerged from the Yoruba print culture of the time.
Print Culture and the First Yoruba Novel has won the
Paul Hair Prize 2013!
Beginning in the 1630s, a series of annalists at the main courts of Makassar began keeping records with dated entries that recorded a wide variety of specific historical information about a wide variety of topics, including the births and deaths of notable individuals, the actions of rulers, the spread of Islam, trade and diplomacy, the built environment, ritual activity, warfare, internal political struggles, social and kinship relations, eclipses and comets, and more. These
Lontaraq bilang were a clear departure in form and function from the genealogically-structured chronicles being composed about the ruling families of Gowa and Talloq in the same era. By the end of 1751, nearly 2400 entries had been completed.
These records are a rich lode of information for scholars interested in virtually any aspect of life in premodern Makassar, and are a rare and precious resource for scholars of Southeast Asia. This is the first English translation and annotation of the annals.
Full text (Open Access)
Henry Muoria (1914-97), self-taught journalist and pamphleteer, helped to inspire Kenya's nationalisms before Mau Mau. The pamphlets reproduced here, in Gikuyu and English, contrast his own originality with the conservatism of Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya's first President. The contributing editors introduce Muoria's political context, tell how three remarkable women sustained his families' life; and remember him as father. Courageous intellectual, political, and domestic life here intertwine.
The Arjunawiwāha is one of the best known of the Old Javanese classics. This volume presents a new text, based on Balinese manuscripts, with a complete translation, building on the work done by earlier writers. An introduction provides ample background information, as well as an original interpretation of the significance of the text, within its historical and cultural setting. This poem was written by Mpu Kanwa in around A.D. 1030 under King Airlangga, who ruled in East Java. It is Mpu Kanwa’s only known work, and is the second oldest example in the genre of
kakawin. The poem is a narrative, but also contains passages of description, philosophical or religious teaching of great interest, as well as remarkable erotic scenes. Parts of the tale have been depicted on early temple reliefs and in paintings, and the text is still recited in Bali by literary clubs and in temple ceremonies.
The chronicles of Gowa and Talloq are the most important historical sources for the study of pre-colonial Makassar. They have provided the basic framework and much of the information that we possess about the origins, growth, and expansion of Gowa during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. During this period Gowa and its close ally Talloq became the most powerful force in the eastern Indonesian archipelago, and historians have relied heavily on the chronicles to chart the developments of this period. Available for the first time in English translation, the two texts will offer historians and other scholars an invaluable foundation on which to base interpretations of this crucial place and time in Indonesian history. This volume is required reading for scholars of pre-modern Southeast Asia, including historians, linguists, anthropologists, and others.