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Who was the Harq al-Harba?


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Yes, I guess it does make sense.  According to the DE, the Harq al-Harba was 'born' in 10246, by which I guess they mention the first mention of him.

Here's what we're on about for those who don't know:

Born Yorba (Cygni Alpha-3)

10246, died Fides (Luytens-2) 10317;

married Vela Cinoli 10286(7), four

children. The "Dramatist Laureate" of

the Atreidean period.

In a period noted for the richness

and variety of its dramatic

accomplishments, Harq al-Harba was

counted among the first rank of

playwrights of his day. Since his death,

his reputation has grown and today he

is recognized as the absolute master of

his time. Prior to the discovery of the

Rakis Hoard, his plays were the best

known account of the turbulent era

from 10150 to 10219.

Here's the part on the question of his identity:

If Harq al-Harba the playwright

had not been such a supreme

embodiment of the dramatist's art, if

what we know of the biography of

Harq al-Harba the minifilm salesman

had not been so little, and if what we

do know had not seemed at odds with

the qualities we associate with genius,

there probably would never have been

an al-Harba Question. Other humble

people have risen to greatness, and

even less is known about some of the

great Atreideans than is known about

the Yorban dramatist. But the interplay

of these three factors was certain

sooner or later to lead astray minds

with a peculiar cast of thought. How,

they asked, could the salesman and the

poet have been the same man?

It was not until 10630, more than

three hundred years after al-Harba's

death, that anyone challenged his

authorship of the plays that bore his

name. The controversy began with

Avelarad Svif-Josif, a minor noble of

House Rembo, who expressed doubts

that a salesman could have possessed

the ability to write the plays credited to

him. This reservation was expounded at

length by Kurt Zhuurazh, who asserted,

in his Al-Ada and al-Harba (10635)

that Harq al-Ada (Farad'n Corrino) was

the true author of the plays. Admirers

of the Royal Scribe have attributed

various other Atreidean works to him,

and the most liberal adherents of the

theory credit him with (besides al-

Harba's plays) Pander Oulson's St.

Alia: Huntress of a Billion Worlds,

Duncan Idaho's The 'Ghola Speaks and

The Hayt Chronicle, and all the works

of Princess Irulan; to this considerable

total, Cybele Harik (The Prince/The

Playwright) adds the authorized

translation of the O.C. Bible and even

Stilgar's Chronicle in Fremen.

Thirty years passed (10666)

before another contender was

proposed: J. T. Duub nominated Count

Hasimir Fenring in Half-a-Dozen

Harbas. Duub's chief obstacle was

Fenring's death in 10225, twenty-one

years before Harq al-Harba was born,

but as we shall see, this proved no

insuperable obstacle to Fenring's


A third powerful contingent

entered the field in 10710, when A. J.

Kiilwan claimed (in The Man Who

Was al-Harba) that the plays were

actually written by the emperor Leto II.

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He is given a very similar name, good spot.

"What will be the outcome of your peace?"

"It's opposite' date='" Leto said, his voice calmly mocking.

Farad'n shook his head. "I find the price for my Sardaukar very high. Must I

remain Scribe, the secret father of your royal line?"

"You must."

"Will you try to force me into your habit of peace?"

"I will."

"I'll resist you every day of my life."

"But that's the function I expect of you, cousin. It's why I chose you. I'll

make it official. I will give you a new name. From this moment, you'll be called

Breaking of the Habit, which in our tongue is Harq al-Ada. Come, cousin, don't

be obtuse. My mother taught you well. Give me your Sardaukar."


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As the third linguist to weigh in, I side with MrFlibble: the proposed change would be extremely unnatural.

You may find this of interest:

Yet what would be the source of all of this information? I first contemplated creating an Atreidean Archive and Library on Caladan, and in fact told FH on the phone that I would handle it that way. He told me then that I need not worry - that Dune 4 included a mechanism - the No room as it turned out - which could be used by all contributors as a source. I was concerned about timing, but the almost immediate publication of "God Emperor of Dune" not only solved the "source" problem, but enabled other contributors to write entries from that book. I also encouraged contributors to suggest topics which I might have overlooked or which seemed sensible to them. And from their suggestions came such truly original materials as the literature, music, and poetry of the Imperium; <b>the Shakespeare (we called him "Harq al Harba", which is Arabic for Shakespeare) of the Imperium</b>; Fremen (Frewomen?) menstruation, and so on. I let the writers have free rein, and they most amply repaid me for it. Material in GED, for example, gave one writer the notion that brief bios of the various Duncan Idahos might be interesting; another suggested that the Great Houses had insignia - and that they might be illustrated; still another took the relatively undeveloped notion of the Dune Tarot, and wanted to expand it - again with illustrations.


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I myself am also a linguist, and words are prone to change, especially over that amount of time.

Arabic words have a specific (from the Indo-European point of view) feature that the lexical meaning is expressed by the consonants (usually three of them), while grammatical meanings are conveyed by the vowels. The change from al-Ada to al-Harba would mean the change of root (I guess it'd be something like 'D for al-Ada and HRB for al-Harba), and, consequently, the whole semantics of the word. This is completely different from any phonetical/phonological processes in Indo-European languages where both vowels and consonants of a root/lexical stem can undergo significant changes over time.

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I think it's safe to say that Harq al-Ada (Farad'n) and Harq al-Harba (?) were not the same individuals. I also doubt that one name was corrupted into another.

My reasoning is that Leto would not waste the talents of anyone capable of setting down whatever histories, stories, and dramas he might want to preserve. And even if Farad'n was the original author, I see this as a Shakespeare vs. Bacon -- who wrote which plays/poems? sort of issue. It could be a case of mistaken identity, plagiarism, or perhaps Leto himself decided to hide Farad'n's authorship of certain works behind another individual's name/identity (for whatever hypothetical reason).

This is one of the interstitial mysteries of the Dune books that we will likely never solve, unless somebody wants to tackle the issue in a fanfic.

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What bits of text?


There are 21 epigraph attributions in <i>Children</i>:

-Riddles of Arrakis by Harq al-Ada

-Lectures on Prescience by Harq al-Ada

-Leto's Vow, After Harq al-Ada

-The Leto Commentary, After Harq al-Ada

-Testament of Arrakis by Harq al-Ada

-The Book of Leto, After Harq al-Ada

-The Book of Leto, After Harq al-Ada

-Words of an ancient philosopher (Attributed by Harq al-Ada to one Louis Veuillot)

-Leto II to His Memory-Lives, After Harq al-Ada

-The Dune Catastrophe, After Harq al-Ada

-The Words of My Father: an account of Muad'Dib reconstructed by Harq al-Ada

-The Dune Catastrophe, After Harq al-Ada

-Arrakis, the Transformation, After Harq al-Ada

-The Story of Liet-Kynes by Harq al-Ada

-The Arrakeen Catastrophe, After Harq al-Ada

-The Holy Metamorphosis, by Harq al-Ada

-The Mahdinate, An Analysis by Harq al-Ada

-The Preacher at Arrakeen, After Harq al-Ada

-The Prescient Vision, by Harq al-Ada

-Leto Atreides II, The Harq al-Ada Biography

-The Butlerian Jihad, by Harq al-Ada

The name appears only two other times in <i>Children</i>, and six times in <i>God Emperor</i>. Harq al-Harba, naturally, appears not at all. (And therefore never was.)

It makes sense that Farad'n took up the pen. Besides dreaming of insurrection and lost glory and getting Ghani with child, what else did he have to do?

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