Tawq al-Hamamah/El collar de la paloma/The Ring of the Dove Group Read
Although many of us will return to our discussion of the second half of Bolaño's 2666 during the last three days of the month, I'm happy to announce the other group read for the 2014 Caravana de recuerdos Ibero-American Readalong that's slated to take place in February: Ibn Hazm de Córdoba's Tawq al-Hamamah [Spanish: El collar de la paloma; English: The Ring of the Dove]. If any of you are interested in reading this with me, just let me know and let's plan on a targeted discussion date of the weekend of Friday, 2/21, thru Sunday, 2/23. So why might you want to read this book in the first place much less in February 2014? First, because the work, interspersing prose with verse, is widely regarded as one of the jewels of Arabic literature ever produced in Al-Andalus by one of the most prominent Andalusians. Second, because this so called "treatise on love and lovers" dated to the year 1022 offers us not only a unique window onto the Iberian Muslim culture of the time--José Ortega y Gassett, in his intro to my Spanish translation cited on the back of the book, calls it "el libro más ilustre sobre el tema del amor en la civilización musulmana" ["the most illustrious book on the theme of love in Muslim civilization"]--but a valuable comparative study for those interested in the theme of love and lovers as it relates to medieval European literature in the succeeding centuries. Finally, having first read El collar de la paloma about ten years ago as part of a class on medieval Spanish literature, I can personally vouch for the work as an entertaining one chock full of strange reflections on haunting blonde slave girls, history, and yes love and lovers. I hope I can count on some company for my reread. As an added bonus for those pressed for time, the text clocks in at only somewhere around 200 pages. Care to join me?