The transcription of part 2 of al-Makin (from the Erpenius edition of 1625) is going well. It’s arriving in 10-page chunks, and there are 300 pages in all so that will make 30 chunks. Chunk 11 arrived today.
I was reflecting at the weekend on our lack of knowledge of Arabic literature, including Arabic Christian literature. There is no handbook of this in English.
Yet to create one would merely take time, no more. It could be done. Even I could do it. A single volume, using Brockelmann’s Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur and Graf’s Geschichte der christlichen arabischen Litteratur as a basis could be compiled relatively easily by any interested amateur, and then brought up to date by a literature search.
And what a difference it would make to our understanding of the subject! How it would revolutionise our access to this area of knowledge!
I wonder how it might be done … Perhaps find someone — or better, several someones — with time who knows basic German and has the right mindset. Just compile a list of authors and works – not very taxing – and then write entries. Then compile a short bibliography of published editions, translations, and studies in western languages… hmm. For the latter, one would need to know where bibliographies of Arabic literature may be found.
It could be done. Whether I can do it, well, I don’t know. But it could be done.