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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But it is a gentle, beautiful book.

But it swings open easily enough, with a push, and a dusty path curls away from it, between the mounds ghodh refuse, towards a stretch of reed-filled marshland in the distance.

Some of them ran towards me as soon as I climbed out of the truck. As for me, I had no choice in the matter: Such was the Sidi’s power that anything left touching his tomb was safe: Divers have salvaged a few pieces of iron, little akitav.

But even as Ghosh sought to re-create the life of his Indian predecessor, he found himself immersed in those of his modern Egyptian neighbors. Ahmed was the most dutiful of sons and he helped Shaikh Musa on the land as often as he could, but there was an unbridgeable aitav between them now because of his education.

I guess clever people across cultures and national geographies understand this, they are actually the ones who profit by these conceptions; in fact, they actively create them. But the moment passed, and in a troubled voice Ustaz Mustafa said: It was the Palestinian synagogue that Ben Yiju was to join. Ghosh’s vast knowledge and the amout of research he has put into this book is mind blowing.

In an Antique Land by Amitav Ghosh | : Books

I would try to shut out the noise by concentrating on my book or my diaries or by turning up the volume of my transistor radio, but Abu-‘Ali’s voice always prevailed, despite the thick mud walls of his house and the squawking of the ducks and geese who lived aan my room.


A connection was already beginning to form in my mind now, as I turned towards Shaikh Musa’s wife. Jabir paused to think. From the strong resemblance she bore to Ahmed, I knew at once that she was his sister.

Thriving hub though it was, medieval Fustat probably presented an unremarkable kind of appearance. Lajd was from the village down the road: In another instance, these men show a great surprise that Hindus do not perform ‘Khatna’ circumcisionas the conversation goes in this direction, Ghosh feels a bit embarrassed and wonders where this will lead.

He is, after all, writing for a Western audience who presumably love the stories of quirky, simple village folk. But at the time I thosh nonplussed. He had shown me a picture of him once: Hasan, on the other hand, fell on his father’s side of that divide, and it was easy to see that their shared view of the world formed a special bond between them. He soon conceived of a plan to publish them as a collection, under the title of The India Book, but as his work proceeded he found ever-increasing quantities of material, and the project was continually deferred, while other aspects of his research took precedence.

Who are its prophets? It was his younger son Hasan.

Slaves — Egypt — Biography. His was a brief debut, in the obscurest of theatres, and he was scarcely out of the wings before he was gone again — more a prompter’s whisper than a recognizable face in the cast.

Amitav Ghosh – “In An Antique Land”

Jan 20, Anil Swarup rated it liked it. While living in [the governorate of] Beheira I maintained a detailed journal, in which I made extensive notes about my conversations with people, and the things I saw around me. The novelty of mixing historical writing with personal narrative was not enough to save this book from being just plain uninteresting.

That’s why he’s always asking questions. Iin I need inspiration, both as a reader and as a writer, I will dip into this book again and again. After that, as the day progressed, a charged lassitude would descend upon Lataifa. Eventually I went to lland the archive myself but a disappointment awaited me there: Clapping me on the back, he told his uncle: From the papers that I was allowed to see, I had the impression that Goitein had in fact already published most of his information regarding Ben Yiju’s life in scattered bits and pieces, for much of the material was already familiar from my earlier reading.


Goitein, of Princeton University.

Amitav Ghosh – “In An Antique Land” – Road Junky Guides

The Germans struck fear into the local population. Dec 10, Joel rated it it was ok Shelves: The manuscripts and fragments were mostly ignored but in two sisters brought fragments of manuscripts to England and showed them to Solomon Schechter of Cambridge University. When we got there we found that his officers and fellow soldiers were sitting up, keeping vigil beside his body.

In the distance shanties grow in tiers upon the ruins, and they in turn fade gently, imperceptibly, into the scraggy geometry of Cairo’s skyline — into a tableau of decay and regeneration, a metaphor for Masr.

More than a hundred years passed after Simon Van Geldern’s visit with no public notice being taken of the Geniza at the Synagogue of Ben Ezra. Ravi Dayal Publishers 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 experience living in small villages and towns in the Nile Delta and his reconstruction of a Jewish trader and his slave’s lives in the eleventh century from documents from the Cairo Geniza.