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 amount of information one can glean even from a superficial reading is remarkable. The Cattaouis made their mansion available to him for the length of his stay, and in recognition of this service, Queen Victoria later sent Moses Cattaoui her portrait — a token which he treasured, writes Adler, ‘with no little pride’.

I was surprised antiquee learn ghish it was agreed that the oceans were free for trading, until the Portuguese started controlling the seas.

Isn’t that so, mush kida?

Amitav Ghosh – “In An Antique Land”

Between them, they granted Adler permission to enter the Geniza and to carry away a certain quantity of documents of his choice. I have many things to do. Not only did this teach me to observe what I was seeing; it also taught me how to translate raw experience on to the page. He was pushed when he refused, and had fallen off and died, hitting his head on a rock. They had eaten well and Shaikh Musa had just returned from the mosque.

But although Judaeo-Arabic was much closer to the spoken language than literary Arabic, it was not uniformly colloquial. But in the end it was the hardy little fortress that proved to have the greater staying power. The mud huts have largely disappeared and bungalows have sprung up in their place.

They had their textbooks with them and they were taking advantage of the comparative quiet of the fields to catch up with their schoolwork. Everybody in the area knew of Abu-‘Ali’s temper and most people did their best to avoid him, so far as they could. But the reference comes to us from a moment in time when the only people for whom we can even begin to imagine properly human, individual, existences are the literate and the consequential, the wazirs and the sultans, the chroniclers and the priests — the people who had the power to inscribe themselves physically upon time.

It was very quiet, except for the creak of distant water-wheels; in Lataifa, far away, the first lamps were beginning to shine. Don’t pick this up if you’re looking for action and suspense. To me, watching from the roof, it seemed hardly credible that so delicate a machine would succeed in carrying a man of Abu-‘Ali’s weight over that bumpy dirt track. In the decades immediately after Napoleon’s invasion ofEgypt attracted the husbandry of the Western academy in a way that no other place ever had.


Babylon, on the other hand, was a mere provincial garrison, a small military outpost.

Mar 17, Carolyn rated it really liked it Shelves: There was a snake curled up at the entrance, the officials of the synagogue told him, and it would be extremely dangerous to go in. Everything was fresh and full of flavour, touched with that unnameable quality which makes anything grown in the soil of Egypt taste richer, more distinctively of itself, than it does anywhere else.

As far as Ben Yiju was concerned, his membership of this synagogue was probably more a matter of birth than personal preference.

It is nothing less than a miracle that anything is known about him at all. Rabbi Solomon Wertheimer wrote him several letters begging him to forward the documents to Oxford if he saw no value in them, but his pleas went unheeded: I will one day definitely read this book again.

The story of his research has two segments that unfold side by side. A part of me had wanted to go — not merely that part which told me that it was, in a sense, my duty, part of my job. The money they sent home means that most homes now have novelties like refrigerators and television sets. A great gulf separates the two registers of Arabic, the formal, literary language, and the slangy, regional dialects: Now there’ll be a feud there.

Like the other letter, this one too is addressed to Abraham Ben Yiju, in Mangalore, but in the thirty-one years that have passed between the publication of the one and the other, the Slave has slipped backwards in time, like an awkward package on a conveyor belt. The Indian Ocean trade, and the culture that supported it, had long since been destroyed by European navies.

But at the time when the fortress was built the river flowed directly beside it: I am a little wary when i pick a book by Amitav Ghosh. The story is like nothing I’ve read before. Jabir and his cousins were soon bored by the zikr. I waved, but to my surprise they neither smiled nor waved back. I started out expecting some really good medeival tales from Ben Yiju and the slave but it was Ghosh’s own experiences in Egypt that proved more intriguing and better to me.

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The Germans struck fear into the local population. In the summer ofwhen the construction of the Suez Canal was well under way and Egypt was being readied, once again, to become the stepping-stone to India, a scholar and collector of Judaic antiquities by the name of Jacob Saphir paid several visits to the Synagogue of Ben Ezra while passing through Egypt.

Yet Schechter was writing of his own co-religionists, and moreover of the very group who had sustained the Geniza for almost a thousand years, and whose extraordinary achievement he was then engaged in appropriating. The building was destined to last until a good seven hundred years after Ben Yiju’s lifetime; it was still standing late into the nineteenth century. I only finished it as …more I found this a difficult read.

And also this has piqued my interest and antiqye me into buying other books of Wmitav. I would say it is one of the best books by Ghosh.

Ghosh discovered lamd Ben Yiju story by examining documents from the massive haul found In the early s Amitav Ghosh was living in rural Egypt, engaged in field world for his social anthropology doctorate.

A consignment of Indian pepper in which he and Ben Yiju had invested jointly has been lost in a shipwreck off the narrow straits that lead into the Red Sea. The old Geniza was probably left standing for a while, after the rest alnd the structure was torn down, but it must have perished later.

The German scholar Paul Kahle, who devoted the better part of a lifetime to the study of Firkowitch’s collection, estimated that in all the libraries of Europe, taken together, there were not even as many as a third of the number of Biblical manuscripts as there were in this one collection in St. He glowed with love as he looked at the boy.

In an Antique Land – Wikipedia

But it so happened that he was taken completely by surprise. The point was to provide a kind of contrapuntal narrative, but I never felt like they cohered very well. But the most frustrating piece was the fact ghoah there were so many lacunae in his research–not his fault, of course–that he has to make up the various possibilities for Ben Yiju and Bomma.