Wednesday, March 30, 2016

splintered apprehension

This entry is a stub post that lists, so far as I can remember them, all the books that I or L. have read that have an Afghanistan setting.

Rudyard Kipling, "The Man Who Would Be King" and "Dray Wara Yow Dee" (both 1888).
In the former, Peachey and Dravot head for Kafiristan, in NE Afghanistan. In  the latter, the unnamed narrator, apparently an inhabitant of the Khyber pass, moves easily between Afghanistan and British India.
Nick Danziger, Danziger's Travels: Beyond Forbidden Frontiers (1987)
Åsne Seierstad, The Bookseller of Kabul (2004)
Magsie Hamilton Little, Dancing With Darkness (2011)
Debbie Rodriguez, The Kabul Beauty School (2007)
Debbie Rodriguez, The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul (2011)
Eric Newby, A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush (1958)
Joseph Kessel, The Horsemen (1968)
Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin, Three Cups of Tea (2008 - mostly Pakistan, partly NE Afghanistan)
A book (title and author forgotten) about the nineteenth-century Anglo-Afghan wars

Not one of them written by an Afghan, as yet...

However I have read a little of Ferdowsi, the tenth-century poet. Balkh, now in N. Afghanistan, was then part of "Greater Khorasan", and the Shahnameh is regarded as as a national epic throughout the area of former Persian influence, i.e. not only Iran but Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia etc. Khorasan was the cultural centre of Greater Iran in those times, producing much Persian literature and poetry (incl. e.g. Rumi), scientists (e.g. Avicenna) and a long list of Islamic scholars.


Herat in 1969

[Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1979_Herat_uprising]

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