Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

‘Whose Face is Huge and Wears a Hideous Expression’: On David Larsen’s Translation of ‘Names of the Lion’

My latest… a review of David Larsen’s wonderful annotated translation of Ibn Khalawayh’s ‘Names of the Lion’:


Back in 2011, The Economist complained it wasn’t possible to get a copy of David Larsen’s translation of Names of the Lion for money and possibly not even for love.” But, this month, Wave Books has come out with a new edition.

Sarah Irving writes that it’s unlikely Larsen’s new edition of Al-Husayn ibn Ahmad ibn Khalawayh’s tenth-century Names of the Lion is going to shoot the translator-poet to global renown — but that it should:

By Sarah Irving

Googling David Larsen for this review, I came across a blog post (on his own poetry, not his translations of early Arabic literature), which commented that “It’s a mystery why David Larsen doesn’t have a larger following”.

That post was from a decade ago, and yet for some reason Larsen still isn’t some kind of literary superstar. The world’s unfair. Who knew?

It’s unlikely that his edition of Al-Husayn ibn Ahmad…

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This entry was posted on May 22, 2017 by in Uncategorized.
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