Video: Interview with Professor Lenn Goodman

4th November 2010
Publication: The Case of the Animals versus Man Before the King of the Jinn: An Arabic Critical Edition and English Translation of Epistle 22
Editors and Translators: Professor Lenn Goodman and Dr Richard McGregor

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Questions addressed in the interview:
1. What drew you to devote 7 years to translating The Case of the Animals vs Man and then to spend another 7 years collaborating with Richard McGregor on preparing a new translation, manuscript based critical edition, and expanded commentary on this ancient text?
2. I notice that you call this risala an essay. What is it that you mean by that? Isn't the work a piece of fiction?

3. Why do you call The Case of the Animals vs Man an Aesopian fable, and what do you mean by calling it an ecological fable?

4. How do you understand the role of the jinn (or genies) in this work? What makes it different from a fairy tale or a romance like the Thousand and One Nights or the Antar cycle?

5. Beyond the animals’ complaints of mistreatment by human beings, what other themes do you find in this work?

6. What do you mean in saying that the Ikhwan al-Safa voice cosmopolitan values in The Case of the Animals vs Man before the King of the Jinn?

7. What do you think is the contemporary relevance of a work of this kind in today's scientific, technological and multicultural age?

8. Who is the intended audience of this book?