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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One of the elders of the hamlet, Shaikh Musa, told me once, when I was having dinner at his house, that Abu-‘Ali had always been obese, even as a boy. It was therefore a matter of bitter chagrin to him that he had not been the first person in the village to buy a television set.

Abu-‘Ali’s house was so placed that it commanded a good view of the road and, being the man he was, Abu-‘Ali was diligent in exploiting the strategic potential of its location. There was little Abu-‘Ali could do to rid his house of him; constrained as he was by the obligations of kinship, he had to choke daily on the gall of hearing about the soccer matches that his son and Jabir watched on the TV set in the house next door.

It was here, in this forlorn corner of Masr, that the memories of Amitzv Ben Yiju and his slave lay preserved for more than seven hundred years. In the end, the journey is what we care about.

The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

This was an unusual event because it called for the climbing of a narrow flight of stairs. I am not sure. But when the moment had come, I’d known that I wouldn’t be able to do it: It maitav the name by which the country gyosh been known, in its own language, for at least a millennium, and most of the cultures and civilizations with which it has old connections have accepted its own self-definition. In the manuscripts that Schechter had brought back from Cairo were formally handed over to the University Library, where they have remained ever since, well- tended and cared for, grouped together as the Taylor-Schechter Kand.


Open Preview See a Problem? Within this tornado of grand designs and historical destinies, Khalaf ibn Ishaq’s letter seems to open a trapdoor into a vast network of foxholes where real life continues uninterrupted.

Amitav Ghosh – “In An Antique Land”

Whispering the responses, he led me into the guest- room. They decided to make Solomon Schechter a present of their community’s — and their city’s — heritage; they granted him permission to remove everything he wanted from the Geniza, every last paper and parchment, without condition or payment. Ghosh discovered the Ben Yiju story by examining documents from the massive haul found in the Geniza synagogue document repository of the Palestinian synagogue in the Egyptian town of Fustat.

Interesting ethnographic research and description of life in an Egyptian village in the eighties.

Amitav Ghosh: In an Antique Land – Cairo Guide to Cairo, Egypt

Eventually I went to visit the archive myself but a disappointment awaited me there: A hush fell upon the courtyard as I walked up to the machine; a dozen heads craned forward, watching my every move. I had never met Hasan, for he was away, serving his draft in the army, but I had heard a great deal about him.

Climate Change and the Unthinkable Then, when the grief of the dead man’s family had eased a little, an amnesty would be declared. In a while ‘Amm Shahata appears, a sprightly old man, very thin and a little stooped. Search the history of over billion web pages on the Internet. Its most striking feature was a pair of wrought-iron gates; although much discoloured and corroded, they were still graceful, their sinuous forms exuberantly Art Deco: We were sitting in his bedroom that evening.

I went up to the machine’s vhosh, stooped beside it and peered knowledgeably into its inky interior, shutting one eye. Doesn’t know Our Lord! He goes on to state further: But the moment did not seem appropriate, and in a while I got up to leave. We are experiencing technical difficulties.


In haste and great excitement, Yours sincerely, S. In an Antique Land revolves around Egypt past, present and metaphorical, and relies on a large assemblage of characters to give [it] shape. She still lives in their house: I was told that his colleagues and ln in the Department of Near Eastern Studies had compiled an archive of his papers there. It was only a few months since I had left India and so I was perhaps a little more befuddled by my situation than students usually arc.

Yet I never once saw a single person in Lataifa breaking the fast, in any way: He earned a doctorate at Oxford before he wrote his first novel, which was published in With the political ascendancy of the Fatimid Empire, it had come to play a pivotal role in the global economy as the entrepot that linked the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean: But now I had heard the name so often that it had begun to sound like a challenge: It was against amihav background that the first report of the Geniza was published in Europe.

After we had been alone for a while, Shaikh Musa said softly: Several other boys from Lataifa went with us, among them Jabir’s younger brother, Mohammad, and a nephew of Shaikh Musa’s, a shy, quiet boy of fifteen, called Mabrouk.

In an Antique Land by Amitav Ghosh | : Books

This page was last edited on 16 Novemberat May 04, Marcy rated it it was ok. Doctor Schechter had not yet found the time to unpack them from their boxes.

It is a world we all avoid, one with which we are unfamiliar with and one that Ghosh has expertly described. After a while a mouse came along and, since mice like to nibble at leather, it had bitten into the plough’s thongs.