Saturday, January 23, 2016

Book Review: "American Qur’an’ is an Old/New Masterpiece by Sandow Birk

By G. Willow Wilson
Illustration from "American Qur'an" artwork by Sandow Birk. (2016 by Sandow Birk)
WASHINGTON,DC---Images enter our minds as infallible: Few of us wonder whether the carpet on the floor is true or false, whether the person who smiles at us on the subway is real or unreal. Daily life would be impossible without this visual credulity. But the same instinct that tells us everything we see is true makes us intriguingly vulnerable to distortion and suggestion in art. It is this visual vulnerability that prompts most schools of Islamic thought to prohibit images of sacred figures — prophets, angels, Allah — and in a few extreme cases, images of any living being whatsoever. [link]

American Qur’an” by Sandow Birk — a full-size Koran, transcribed entirely by hand according to the exacting medieval tradition, but in English instead of Arabic — by carefully studying the rules of the art form.