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The Days

The Days: His Autobiography in Three Parts

Taha Hussein
E. H. Paxton
Hilary Wayment
Kenneth Cragg
Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 412
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  • Book Info
    The Days
    Book Description:

    For the first time, the three-part autobiography of one of modern Egypt’s greatest writers and thinkers is available in a single paperback volume. The first part, An Egyptian Childhood (1929), is full of the sounds and smells of rural Egypt. It tells of Hussein’s childhood and early education in a small village in Upper Egypt, as he learns not only to come to terms with his blindness but to excel in spite of it and win a place at the prestigious Azhar University in Cairo. The second part, The Stream of Days: A Student at the Azhar (1939), is an enthralling picture of student life in Egypt in the early 1900s, and the record of the growth of an unusually gifted personality. More than forty years later, Hussein published A Passage to France (1973), carrying the story on to his final attainment of a doctorate at the Sorbonne, a saga of perseverance in the face of daunting odds.

    eISBN: 978-1-61797-470-0
    Subjects: History, Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Chapter 1 An Egyptian Childhood
    (pp. 1-72)
    Taha Hussein

    Taha Hussein was born on 14 November 1889 in Izbit il-Kīlīō on the outskirts of the town of Maghāgha in Upper Egypt. He belonged to a large family of very modest means and, blinded in early childhood by the clumsy ministrations of the local barber/surgeon, he seemed destined for a limited religious education of a traditional type, and for a stunted life. But he soon broke out in a direction of his own choosing, and – as educator, reformer, thinker, and writer on many subjects – he blasted a trail that led, through many tribulations, to wide recognition as a leader of...

  4. Chapter 2 The Stream of Days
    (pp. 73-188)

    Taha Hussein’s autobiography is one of the acknowledged masterpieces of contemporary Arabic literature. This second volume, describing the years of his adolescence at the Azhar, stands by itself as an enthralling picture of student life in the Egypt of a generation ago, and the record of an unusually gifted personality in the process of formation and growth. For the English reader, however, it needs to be prefaced by some account both of earlier and later events in the author’s life and of the background against which they took place.

    An Egyptian Childhood,as the first volume has been entitled in...

  5. Chapter 3 A Passage to France
    (pp. 189-307)

    An interlude of some forty years in the writing of an autobiography is a long break. The first two volumes of Ṭāhā ḥusain’s life-story appeared in Cairo in 1929. They promptly achieved a wide circulation, since his name was already in the public mind through a notable controversy in scholarship relating to the Qur’ ān in the mid-nineteen twenties. With a flow of other volumes during the next decade, they helped to establish his public image as a doughty and resolute exponent of scholarly freedom and a proven product of a new and liberal tradition in Egyptian education.

    Those two...

  6. Back Matter
    (pp. 308-310)