One of the great problems with Arabic Christian literature is the lack of any guide to it in English. The standard text is Graf’s Geschichte der christlichen arabischen Literatur, published 50 years ago.
I worked out what a commercial translation of a volume would cost, and enquired through a friend whether the Vatican would permit me to translate it. Today I’ve heard back that they will not. The pretext is that they are updating it; but no details were given.
At this time, I was unenthusiastic about commencing such an expensive project. But it is very disappointing all the same. I have no confidence that any ‘update’ will be forthcoming any time soon, if at all. The need for an English guide, however, will remain.
I do hate a dog-in-the-manger. It would have cost them nothing to agree.