Ab-e Hayat ('water of Life) (1880) by Muhammad Husain Azad (1830-1910) has been described as the 'most often reprinted, and most widely read, Urdu book of the past century. In this masterpiece, Azad sought to preserve the 'lost heaven' of the old Delhi culture, destroyed during the Rebellion ('Mutiny') of 1857, and to keep its memory alive in what was to become a British dominated future.
Ab-e hayat has been appreciated for its seductive prose, colorful anecdotes, and vivid word-portraits. It transports us to a bygone world in which the great names of classical Urdu literature come alive -Kahan-e-Arzu, Shah Hatim, Mirza Rafi' Sauda, Mir Taqi Mir, Ghalib, and Zauq. The combined scholarship of Pritchett and Faruqi, both renowned Urdu scholars, has resulted in this first-ever translation of a canon-shaping work. This volume makes delightful reading for anyone interested in Urdu literary culture, history, and poetry.
About the Author:
Frances W. Pritchett is Professor of Modern Indic Language in the Department of Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University.Shamsur Rahman Faruqi has held the Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan Chair in the Faculty of Humanities at the Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi.
Experts from Review:
'The principal merit of the book lies in the quality of the translation
Ab-e-hayat is a stylistic triumph.'
-The Book Review
.the work remains a tour de force with its majestic survey of each era (Daur) of Urdu poetry. Frruqi's erudite introduction is unsparing it its criticism
placing both [Azad and his work] in the historical context.'
-A.G. Noorani, Frontline
How to Use This Translation
'Everybody Knows This Much
Constructing a Literary History, a Canon, and a Theory of Poetry
AB-E HAYAT: Biographies of Urdu Poets Of Renown, and an Account of the Improvements and Reforms Made in the Urdu Language from Age to Age:
THE HISTORY OF THE URDU LANGUAGE (#6-25#)
WHEN PERSIAN INTERED INTO BRAJ BHASHA, What Effects It Created, and What Hope There Is for the Future (#25-63#)
THE HISTORY OF URDU POETRY (#64-80#)
THE FIRST ERA OF AB-E HAYAT,
In which Vali and his accomplished contemporaries are seated together in assembly (#81-105#)
Index of Authors and Works
Index of Literary Terms
General Index Of References
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