In An Antique Land - the Antique and the Present a Study Sumitra D’ Chettry. In An Antique Land by Amitav Ghosh is a story about Egypt, the antique land referred and narrated by a man who himself belonged to another antique land, India. In An Antique Land is effectively a rewriting of the ethno- graphic material of the thesis, but with a completely revolutionized focus. Amitav Ghosh was able in this book to present to the reader a completely different text than the traditional ethnographic texts.
IN AN ANTIQUE LAND
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“DelightfulÂ â¦Â This curious book [is] a mixture of history, travelogue, social anthropology and personal memoir. Ghosh skillfully draws our attention to parallels and contrasts to both the medieval and the modern stories.”
Washington Post Book World
“Ghosh has found his own distinctive voiceâpolished and profoundÂ â¦Â wistful in its tone, assured in its achieved vision.”
âThe Times Literary Supplement
“RemarkableÂ â¦Â Ghosh uses his writing skill to create captivating vignettes, [and] offers a subtle glimpse into ordinary life in contemporary rural Egypt in a manner that at times rivals anything by the masters of social realism in modern Egyptian literature. The painstaking research and astonishing attention paid to minute details [are] admirable. [Ghosh is] an uncannily honest writer.”
The New York Times Book Review
“An inviting travel taleÂ â¦Â
In an Antique Land
revolves around Egypt past, present and metaphorical, and relies on a large assemblage of characters to give [it] shape. Ghosh details the various stories in this book with energetic descriptions and his own research.”
âSan Francisco Chronicle
“FascinatingÂ â¦Â the tiny peephole Ghosh has opened into the Middle East of the twelfth century reveals a compelling and terrible diorama.”
“Like the best travelogues, this book is also an intellectual and historical journey. Ghosh's closeness to the villagers gives life and color to his gradual discovery of their customs, history and culture.”
“Extraordinary: a travel book that reaches back into the twelfth century as it touches on the dilemmas of our own time.”
“Ghosh is an engagingly humble and receptive traveller.â¦ A refreshing reversal of the usual power relationship between the observing (European) travel writer and his indigenous subjects.”
“A rich and satisfying journey.”
In an antique land The cover proclaims IAAL “History in the guise of a traveller’s tale,” and the multi-generic book moves back and forth between Ghosh’s. Once upon a time an Indian writer named Amitav Ghosh set out to find an Indian slave, name unknown, who some seven hundred years before had traveled to. In An Antique Land is written by the anthropologist, Amitav Ghosh and the publishers marketed it as ‘.a subversive history in the guise of a.
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The two men exchange some companionable banter; his Arabic is indistinguishable from theirs, the staccato speech of working-class Cairo. I had never heard of the Cairo Geniza before that day, but within a few months I was in Tunisia, learning Arabic. For more than eight centuries papers continued to accumulate inside the Geniza. When the people of Cairo speak of Masr, they often have a particular district of the city in mind. Soon, the conversation turned to village gossip and for a while, to my relief, I was forgotten.
May 04, Marcy rated it it was ok.
If there is an irony today in the thought that a Jewish collector, not so very long ago, would have seen reason to steal manuscripts from his fellow Jews in Palestine in order to take them to Russia, it is not one that would have been apparent to Firkowitch: But I couldn’t go back to work even after I was alone again. Still, dislike him as they might, Abu-‘Ali’s neighbours and kinsmen also held him in fear. He had obtained many of his documents by swindling synagogue officials in various parts of the Middle East, and it was his practice to conceal his collecting methods behind a veil of secrecy.
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I went up to the machine’s spout, stooped beside it and peered knowledgeably into its inky interior, amtiav one eye.
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In an Antique Land
One alnd his own half-brothers, a schoolteacher, had beaten him to it. Sometimes you don’t weave back at all. One of the Muslim men tell Ghosh that Hindus are very clever people, they burn their dead so that they do not have to angique Allah on the day of judgment. In a meandering tale between travelogue and history, Amitav Ghosh creates a vivid picture of Egypt and a Middle East that, although it may not exist today, is a unique place for discovery and learning. Their doctors, for example, studied Hippocrates and Galen in Arabic translation, as well as the medical writings of Arab physicians and scholars, such as Ibn Rushd Averroes and al-Razi.
That’s why he’s always asking questions. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Climate Change and the Unthinkable In the s Amitav Ghosh moved into a converted chicken coop.
He was often reminded of this by lajd cousin’s son, Jabir, a boy in his late teens, with bright, malicious eyes and a tongue that bristled with barbs. Jabir, Abu-‘ Alts young relative, had woken me one morning, soon after I arrived in Lataifa. He also included a small anecdote about the current head of the family, Moses Cattaoui.
He ghodh longer teaches and is currently writing the next volume of the Ibis Trilogy. At the time, the Fatimids, who had long ab embarked on a course of catastrophic decline, were clinging to the last tatters of their power, and their capital was still largely a ceremonial and administrative township. The language of the Geniza documents, for example, has a strong flavour of North African Arabic, since so many members of the community were from that region. He was whispering but I could hear him clearly in the sunset hush.
Of course, you have no cause to be disappointed. We were sitting in his bedroom that evening.
The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt
He was in high spirits. As it turned out, he had been lucky. He met with a blank refusal; then afterwards the Samudra steadfastly maintained that Calicut had always been open to everyone who wished to trade there… During those early years the people who had traditionally participated in the Indian Ocean trade were taken completely by surprise.
At about this time Elkan Adler must have realized that he had been wrong on his initial assessment, for he returned to Cairo in what was to prove the decisive year in the life of the Geniza, Ghsoh his visits, Saphir had the Geniza pointed out to him from a distance and was told that it contained many worn and tattered old books.
Aj will one day definitely read this book again. In his account of ladn stay in Cairo, Adler mentioned the private synagogue of the Cattaouis and their adjoining residence, a magnificent palace that had once belonged to a Pasha.
I never found anything in most of his work that is pure fantasy. And impoverished as they were, it is hard to believe that they would willingly have parted with a treasure which was, after all, the last remaining asset left to them by their ancestors.
Yet Schechter was writing of his own co-religionists, and ij of the very group who had sustained the Geniza for almost a thousand years, and whose extraordinary achievement he was then engaged in appropriating.
Jabir’s introduction made things clearer, for he added the word Ustaz, ‘Teacher’, lan his uncle’s name — a title usually given to men who had been educated in modern, rather than traditional, forms of learning. There are also accounts for a long list of household goods that Ben Yiju has asked for, complete with an apology for the misadventures of a frying-pan — ‘You asked me to buy a frying-pan of stone in a case. Ghosh succeeds in his creation of a world far stranger than the one that currently exists, be it in Egypt or abroad.
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But there were also at least three Jewish groups in Babylon, each with a synagogue of its own — they were the ‘Iraqis’, the ‘Palestinians’ and the Karaites. But in the end it was the hardy little fortress that proved to have the greater staying power. In great haste, Schechter sent out a note from the University Library: Sep 22, Diane rated it really liked it Shelves: But the fort’s second great gateway, in its southern wall, is no longer in use: But since colloquial Arabic has always varied between regions, Judaeo-Arabic too tended to take on somewhat different colours in different parts of the Arab world.
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Such was his fame that a large crowd gathered lanf his village when he died, and so many people were witness to the miraculous events that graced his funeral. He’s just bought new batteries — yesterday in Damanhour.
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Amitav Ghosh : In An Antique Land
A hush immediately descended upon the room. The truck went quietly around to Mabrouk’s house, and the object was unloaded and carried in through a back entrance, still wrapped in its tarpaulin sheets.
For centuries the Synagogue of the Palestinians lay forgotten within the half- abandoned precincts of the ancient fortress of Babylon. The movement back and forth between Ghosh’s travels in Egypt and the historical material he found from the Cairo Geniza was quite intriguing and I was willing to overlook the fact that these two parts of his story were quite disjointed. They were of a species I antque never seen before I came to Egypt: You ghoxh take a look at it and tell us what you think.