Cartography

From The English Patient (again):

There was a time when mapmakers named the places they travelled through with the names of lovers rather than their own. Someone seen bathing in a desert caravan, holding up muslin with one arm in front of her. Some old Arab poet’s woman, whose white-dove shoulders made him describe an oasis with her name. The skin bucket spreads water over her, she wraps herself in the cloth, and the old scribe turns from her to describe Zerzura.

No commentary to make me feel better about quoting it. I’m not up to it.

I just finished Crime and Punishment (second read). I’m really enjoying All The King’s Men (first read) and, yeah, John’s gospel. And, very slowly — sometimes backwards — The English Patient.

3 thoughts on “Cartography

  1. OK… a bit uncanny.

    I just today determined to read All the King’s Men. Robert Penn Warren came to UR during my stay and I went to hear him speak. I do not remember feeling the earth had moved, but I know I had, if only a bit. I just was quite aware I had been challenged with thoughts that were rather more than standard fare, especially as I was in the B’School. So, perhaps when I’m done we can banter about a bit.

    Regards from Bangkok a world away, but really just down Longwood Dr.,

    John

  2. John, thanks! I just finished All the King’s Men. I’d love to have someone to talk to about it. It’s more about the narrator than about the governor, and it’s more about human nature than about politics.

    I saw Ralph Ellison while at U.Va. I remember the general impression — passionate, interesting — but I remember not understanding what he was driving at. And I called myself an English major. Too bad Ellison and Warren are dead, now that I think I’m ready to hear them talk.

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