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Everett Miller
Everett Miller

Taha Hussein's The Days: A Classic of Modern Arabic Literature in PDF


Taha Hussein The Days Pdf Download: A Guide to the Autobiography of a Modern Egyptian Writer




Have you ever wondered what it was like to grow up in rural Egypt in the late 19th and early 20th century? How about studying at the prestigious Al-Azhar University and then pursuing a doctorate degree in France? How about becoming one of the most influential writers and thinkers of modern Arabic literature?




Taha Hussein The Days Pdf Download



If you are curious about these questions, then you should read The Days, the three-part autobiography of Taha Hussein, a blind Egyptian scholar who overcame many challenges and obstacles to achieve his dreams and leave a lasting legacy in the Arab world.


In this article, we will give you an overview of Taha Hussein's life and work, as well as a summary and analysis of each part of his autobiography. We will also show you how to download The Days in PDF format for free, so you can enjoy this masterpiece on your device.


Introduction




Who is Taha Hussein?




Taha Hussein was born on November 14, 1889, in Maghagha, a small village in Upper Egypt. He lost his eyesight at the age of three due to an eye infection. He received his primary education at a traditional Islamic school, where he memorized the Quran and learned Arabic grammar and literature.


At the age of 13, he moved to Cairo with his brother to study at Al-Azhar University, the oldest and most prestigious institution of Islamic learning in the world. He soon became dissatisfied with the rigid curriculum and conservative methods of Al-Azhar, and sought to broaden his horizons by reading Western books and attending lectures at secular schools.


He graduated from Al-Azhar in 1914 with a degree in Arabic literature. He then enrolled at Cairo University (then known as Egyptian University), where he studied philosophy and history. He became interested in French culture and literature, and decided to pursue his higher education in France.


In 1919, he traveled to France with a government scholarship. He studied at the Sorbonne University in Paris, where he earned his doctorate degree in 1925 with a thesis on pre-Islamic poetry. He was the first Egyptian to obtain a doctorate degree from a European university.


He returned to Egypt in 1926 and became a professor of Arabic literature at Cairo University. He also worked as an editor, journalist, translator, critic, and novelist. He wrote more than 50 books on various topics, such as history, philosophy, politics, education, culture, and religion. He was known for his modernist approach and his advocacy for social reform and cultural renewal.


He was awarded many honors and awards for his contributions to Arabic literature and culture, such as the National Order of Merit (France), the Order of Arts and Letters (France), the Order of Merit (Egypt), and the Order of Independence (Tunisia). He also received honorary doctorates from several universities around the world.


He died on October 28, 1973, in Cairo, at the age of 83. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest figures of modern Arabic literature and a pioneer of the Arab Renaissance.


What is The Days?




The Days (Arabic: الأيام, romanized: Al-Ayyam) is a novelized autobiography in three volumes by Taha Hussein, published between 1926 and 1967. It deals with his childhood in a small village, then his studies in Egypt and France. It is one of the most popular works of modern Arabic literature.


The first volume, An Egyptian Childhood (1929), is full of the sounds and smells of rural Egypt. It tells of Hussein's childhood and early education in Maghagha, as he learns not only to come to terms with his blindness but to excel in spite of it and win a place at Al-Azhar University in Cairo.


The second volume, The Stream of Days (1940), is an enthralling picture of student life in Egypt in the early 1900s. It covers the time from his entrance into Al-Azhar to his entrance into Cairo University, focusing on his rebellion against his teachers and the traditions of Al-Azhar.


The third volume, A Passage to France (1967), is about his time at Cairo University, then his studies in France, where he obtained his doctorate degree, and finally his return to Egypt, where he became a professor.


Why should you read The Days?




There are many reasons why you should read The Days, such as:


  • It is a fascinating account of a remarkable life that overcame many hardships and achieved many successes.



  • It is a vivid portrayal of the social and cultural changes that took place in Egypt and the Arab world in the 20th century.



  • It is a rich source of information and insight on various aspects of Arabic literature, history, philosophy, and culture.



  • It is a masterpiece of literary style and technique, blending narration, dialogue, description, analysis, and reflection.



  • It is a testimony of human resilience, courage, ambition, and creativity.



Part One: An Egyptian Childhood




Summary of the book




In this part, Hussein recounts his early years in Maghagha, from his birth to his departure for Cairo. He describes his family background, his daily life in the village, his first encounters with books and learning, his relationship with his brother Ismail, his struggle with his blindness, and his determination to pursue his education.


He also depicts the customs and traditions of rural Egypt at that time, such as the festivals, weddings, funerals, superstitions, folktales, songs, games, and rituals. He gives a detailed account of the traditional Islamic education he received at the kuttab (a small school attached to a mosque), where he memorized the Quran and learned Arabic grammar and literature.


He narrates how he developed a passion for reading and writing, and how he sought to expand his knowledge by borrowing books from various sources. He also relates how he faced many challenges and obstacles from his teachers, relatives, and society, who did not appreciate or understand his intellectual curiosity and ambition.


He tells how he decided to leave Maghagha for Cairo with his brother Ismail, who was also blind and shared his aspirations. He explains how they prepared for their journey by saving money, selling their belongings, and convincing their parents. He ends this part with their arrival at Al-Azhar University in Cairo.


Themes and analysis




Some of the main themes explored in this part are:


  • The contrast between rural and urban life in Egypt.



  • The role of religion and tradition in shaping one's identity and worldview.



  • The importance of education and self-improvement as a means of empowerment and liberation.



  • The challenges and opportunities faced by people with disabilities in society.



  • The influence of Western culture and literature on one's intellectual development.



Hussein uses a mixture of first and third person narrative to tell his story. He often interrupts himself with comments or questions addressed to himself or to the reader. He also switches between past and present tense to create a sense of immediacy or distance. He uses irony and humor to criticize or mock some of the practices or beliefs he encountered in his childhood. He also uses imagery and sensory details to evoke the atmosphere and mood of his surroundings.


Reception and impact




An Egyptian Childhood was well received by both critics and readers when it was first published. It was praised for its originality, honesty, humor, and style. It was also admired for its portrayal of rural Egypt and its critique of traditional education. It was translated into several languages, including English, French, German, and Russian.


The book had a significant impact on the development of Arabic literature and culture. It inspired many other writers to write autobiographies or novels based on their personal experiences. It also contributed to the modernist movement in Arabic literature, which sought to break away from the classical norms and introduce new forms and themes. It also influenced the Arab Renaissance, which aimed to revive and reform the Arab culture and identity.


Part Two: The Stream of Days




Summary of the book




In this part, Hussein narrates his student life in Cairo from 1902 to 1914. He describes his academic achievements and challenges at Al-Azhar University, where he studied Arabic literature, Islamic law, theology, and logic. He also recounts his intellectual adventures and discoveries at Cairo University, where he studied philosophy and history.


He also depicts his social and cultural experiences in Cairo, such as his friendships, romances, travels, hobbies, debates, and conflicts. He gives a vivid picture of the city's life and atmosphere at that time, such as the cafes, theaters, cinemas, newspapers, magazines, clubs, and associations. He also reflects on the political and historical events that shaped Egypt and the Arab world at that time, such as the British occupation, the nationalist movement, the constitutional revolution, and the First World War.


He ends this part with his decision to travel to France with a government scholarship to pursue his higher education. He explains his reasons for choosing France as his destination and his expectations for his future.


Themes and analysis




Some of the main themes explored in this part are:


  • The contrast between Islamic and Western education and culture.



  • The role of reason and critical thinking in one's intellectual development.



  • The importance of freedom and independence in one's personal and social life.



  • The influence of French culture and literature on one's artistic expression and taste.



  • The impact of colonialism and nationalism on one's political awareness and identity.



Hussein uses a first person narrative to tell his story. He adopts a confident and assertive tone to express his opinions and arguments. He also uses a descriptive and poetic language to convey his emotions and impressions. He uses irony and sarcasm to criticize or ridicule some of the people or situations he encountered in his student life. He also uses quotations and references to support his points or illustrate his examples.


Reception and impact




The Stream of Days was also well received by both critics and readers when it was published. It was praised for its depth, clarity, eloquence, and originality. It was also admired for its portrayal of Cairo's life and culture and its analysis of Egypt's history and politics. It was translated into several languages, including English, French, German, and Russian.


The book had a significant impact on the development of Arabic literature and culture. It inspired many other writers to write about their student life or their experiences in foreign countries. It also contributed to the modernist movement in Arabic literature, which sought to introduce new forms and themes based on Western models. It also influenced the Arab Renaissance, which aimed to revive and reform the Arab culture and identity.


Part Three: A Passage to France




Summary of the book




Themes and analysis




Some of the main themes explored in this part are:


  • The challenges and opportunities of studying abroad and adapting to a different culture and language.



  • The role of research and scholarship in advancing one's knowledge and contribution to one's field.



  • The importance of dialogue and exchange between different civilizations and traditions.



  • The influence of pre-Islamic poetry and culture on one's artistic expression and identity.



  • The impact of modernity and progress on one's social and political views and aspirations.



Hussein uses a first person narrative to tell his story. He adopts a confident and optimistic tone to express his enthusiasm and satisfaction with his studies and achievements. He also uses a descriptive and elegant language to convey his admiration and appreciation for French culture and literature. He uses quotations and references to support his points or illustrate his examples. He also uses comparisons and contrasts to highlight the similarities and differences between Egyptian and French culture.


Reception and impact




A Passage to France was also well received by both critics and readers when it was published. It was praised for its honesty, clarity, sophistication, and originality. It was also admired for its portrayal of France's life and culture and its analysis of pre-Islamic poetry. It was translated into several languages, including English, French, German, and Russian.


The book had a significant impact on the development of Arabic literature and culture. It inspired many other writers to write about their academic life or their experiences in foreign countries. It also contributed to the modernist movement in Arabic literature, which sought to introduce new forms and themes based on Western models. It also influenced the Arab Renaissance, which aimed to revive and reform the Arab culture and identity.


Conclusion




How to download The Days in PDF format?




If you are interested in reading The Days by Taha Hussein, you can download it in PDF format for free from various online sources. Here are some of the websites that offer this service:


  • JSTOR: This is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources. You can access The Days in PDF format by creating a free account or logging in with your institution's credentials.



  • Noor Library: This is an online library of Arabic books in various fields and genres. You can download The Days in PDF format by clicking on the download button or scanning the QR code.



  • JSTOR: This is another digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources. You can access Taha Hussein's The Days: A Guided Study for Arabic Learners in PDF format by creating a free account or logging in with your institution's credentials. This is a book that provides comprehension, interpretation, and analytical exercises for advanced learners of Arabic based on The Days.



FAQs




Here are some of the frequently asked questions about The Days by Taha Hussein:


  • Q: What is the genre of The Days?



  • A: The Days is a novelized autobiography, which means that it is based on the author's personal experiences but written in a fictionalized way.



  • Q: What is the main theme of The Days?



  • A: The main theme of The Days is the quest for knowledge and self-improvement in the face of various challenges and obstacles.



  • Q: What is the style of The Days?



  • A: The style of The Days is modernist, which means that it uses new forms and techniques to express new ideas and perspectives.



  • Q: What is the impact of The Days on Arabic literature and culture?



  • A: The impact of The Days on Arabic literature and culture is significant, as it inspired many other writers and thinkers and contributed to the Arab Renaissance and the modernist movement.



  • Q: Who is the translator of The Days into English?



  • A: The translator of The Days into English is E.H. Paxton for the first volume, Hilary Wayment for the second volume, and Kenneth Cragg for the third volume.



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