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Rediscovering the Islamic ClassicsHow Editors and Print Culture Transformed an Intellectual Tradition$
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Ahmed El Shamsy

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691174563

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691174563.001.0001

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The Rise of the Editor

The Rise of the Editor

(p.123) Chapter 5 The Rise of the Editor
Rediscovering the Islamic Classics

Ahmed El Shamsy

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the role of the editor in Arabo-Islamic book culture. The challenges of publishing a classical work in the early twentieth century included locating and procuring a manuscript of the work, producing a sufficiently accurate version of the text to serve as the basis of the published book, and securing the funds to cover the costs of printing. These challenges are vividly illustrated in the career of Aḥmad Zakī Pasha (1867–1934), who, like Aḥmad Taymūr and Aḥmad al-Ḥusaynī, straddled the worlds of bureaucracy and scholarship. Zakī's efforts to raise the standards of Arabic scholarly publication inaugurated a host of enduring institutional and methodological developments. Most importantly, he established the model for a new, enormously significant cultural agent: the editor, muḥaqqiq.

Keywords:   editor, Aḥmad Zakī Pasha, muḥaqqiq, bureaucracy, scholarly publication, publishing innovations, publishing challenges

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