From that intricate mix, her stories set in the dusty heat of Algerian villages breathe and sigh and radiate the culture and conflicts of her chosen home. It is the inescapable chain of events that has brought me to this point, rather than I who have caused these things to happen. She did not make decisions; she was impelled to take action. Her nature combined an extraordinary singlness of purpose and an equally powerful nostalgia for the unattainable. Customer Book Reviews Oblivion Seekers one of many stories in a wonderful book By Bill Young on Dec 10, Isabelle Eberhardt captures the oppressed spirit of the Islamic men within her description of the kif smokers holed up in a ramshackle shelter for the night.
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Never heard of her? I had not either, but a quick look at her biography ensures that I will look at a more in-depth biography about her. Increasingly isolated from her family and her inheritance, she was plagued by emotional and financial problems, but she had a fierce will.
From an early age she dressed as a man for the greater freedom this allowed, and she developed a literary talent and a gift for languages, including Arabic. Like her father Eberhardt became drawn to Islam. She converted while in Algeria with her mother. She became involved with Qadiriyya Sufi order, married an Algerian soldier, worked as a war reporter, helped the poor and needy and fought against the injustices of French colonial rule.
She was also the victim of an assassination attempt but later successfully pleaded for the life of the man who attacked her. She openly rejected conventional European morality of the time, preferring to choose her own path, and drank alcohol, smoked marijuana and had numerous affairs.
Peter Owen Publishers. Kindle Edition. She describes tribal rivalries, domestic issues, love, slavery, hardship, wealth - all of which seems to have its place in her settings. Rather they are vignettes of observations or conversations mixed with stories.
Because Eberhardt does not give the account from the perspective of a European traveller, but of someone who is searching for her own self, she does not judge. The stories truly are interesting.
However, her writing is - lyrical as it is - does at times come across as too stylised to be a true account of her observations. Some poetic licence was no doubt at play. When looking at both collections separately, In the Shadow of Islam is a better book.
It contains one or two stories that are also in The Oblivion Seekers but I found the translation of the stories in In the Shadow of Islam to have a much better flow. In a way this is surprising because The Oblivion Seekers has gathered more praise on account of the translation by Paul Bowles, which in my opinion is not warranted.
I found Bowles translation hard to read. In the Shadow of Islam - 3. It seemed to her that never before had she really seen the sun turn the crests of the mountain gold, and never before watched the capricious play of light on the trees.
ISABELLE EBERHARDT THE OBLIVION SEEKERS PDF
Malazuru There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Their quest is exalted they seek enlightenment. Dispatched from the UK in 1 business day When will my order arrive? Oblivion Seekers The stories in this slim book are stories of people who struggle with freedom and convention.
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The Oblivion Seekers