In the northern Arabian Peninsula during the second half of the 7th century, Qays, later known as Majnun, is in love with his cousin Leyla and decides to praise her in his love poems. Annoyed by all the noise around her, Leyla's parents consider that he has compromised her honor and force her to marry another man. Qays becomes desperate and wanders alone in the desert. His father takes him to Mecca and begs him to seek God's help to free him from his passion, but in vain. The story of Majnun and Leyla has been told in legends, songs, poems, plays and epics from the Caucasus to Africa and from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean. It is a story of tragic and endless love, much like the later story of "Tristan and Isolde" and "Romeo and Julia" in Europe. This volume consists of a translation into English of several of Majnün's poems to Leyla together with comments and an introduction. An incurable romanticism, the deepest longing of the heart to its beloved, nostalgia, memories of a lost paradise, idealism, anticipation, joy after a reunion, bitterness after a separation, lovesickness and a consuming passion emerge from the versions that have inspired countless of people more that 1200 years ago and throughout the centuries.
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Joyce Akesson has studied the Semitic languages at Lund's University, Sweden and has previously been a lecturer there during many years. She is the author of several books about foreign linguistics, among which "Causes and Principles in Arabic", "Arabic Proverbs and Wise Sayings", "A Study of Arabic Phonology", "The Basics & Intricacies of Arabic Morphology", "The Phonological Changes due to the Hamza and Weak Consonant in Arabic", "A Study of the Assimilation and Substitution in Arabic", "The Essentials of the Class of the Strong Verb in Arabic", "The Complexity of the Irregular Verbal and Nominal Forms & the Phonological Changes in Arabic", "Arabic Morphology and Phonology based on the Marah" and "Ahmad b. Ali b. Masud on Arabic Morphology, Part One: The Strong Verb". She has also published several articles about Arabic linguistics in two Journals, the Journal of Arabic Linguistics (the ZAL or Zeitschrift für Arabische Linguistik) Wiesbaden, and the previous Acta Orientalia, Denmark. She has also written a lemma about sarf "morphology/phonology in the Encyclopaedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, vol. 4. Leiden: Brill, 20. She is also the author of "Love's Thrilling Dimensions" and "The Invitation".
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