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. In this short story "The Oblivion Seekers" she paints a descriptive picture of the backward desert towns of Morocco and aptly draws a subtle metaphor between a captive falcon and the plight of the Arab men.
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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. In this short story "The Oblivion Seekers" she paints a descriptive picture of the backward desert towns of Morocco and aptly draws a subtle metaphor between a captive falcon and the plight of the Arab men.
These places are the sanctuaries for the homeless, the lost, the spiritually bankrupt, the wanderers of our day. This particular kif den, despite it derelict location, was of higher quality than most. It was in a "partially ruined house behind the Mellah, a long hall lighted by a single eye in the ceiling of twisted and smoke blackened beams".
Within this apparent squalor are collected together vagabonds, nomads, persons of dubious intent and questionable appearance for the purpose of smoking kif. Among them, on a "rude perch of palm branches" is a falcon. The captive falcon is tethered to the makeshift perch by a string around one leg.
When unencumbered, falcons spend their time surveying the land from the tall branches of mighty trees or soaring in the clouds, high over the desert cliffs, keeping dominion over their land. Surprisingly, a simple string keeps the falcon terrestrial and prevents him from living out his true destiny. It could be the politics of the region, the occupation of the land by foreigners, or the poverty inflicted by the desert on all its inhabitants.
Reason aside, even the "most highly educated" of Islam can succumb to the oppression of the spirit. Gathered this evening in the den, among others, is a Moroccan poet, a wanderer in search of native legends; to keep alive he composes and recites verse.
There is a Filali musician, rootless without family nor specific trade. There too, a Sudanese doctor who follows the caravans from Senegal to Timbuktu. All, men in search of a medicine to help them forget. To help them forget the futility of their existence - wandering from place to place with no good purpose.
These men should be part of a thriving free culture, able to spread their talents to the ends of the Islamic world. The art, music and science are essential pinnings of the Islamic spirit. With a free spirit they wander to the horizons with purpose as surely they, or their predecessors, once did; free to dream and make real those dreams. The Islamic men are proud men, intelligent men, with dreams and aspirations of freedom and self-determination but their desires, just like the falcon, are restrained.
They travel across the desert from country to country undeterred by political boarders. They live off the land - on what meagerness the desert will yield. Yet, a metaphorical string around their ankle binds them tight. The men of Islam can roam freely about the desert but it is their Islamic spirit that is tethered. Consequently, they pursue their dreams in the "clouds of narcotic smoke". Take one eccentric upbringing Smith on Jun 19, Unfortunately, Isabelle Eberhardt died at 27, her major manuscript lost in the flood that took her life.
Our loss. This volume contains 11 short stories, a diary excerpt and a letter to the editor defending her integrity. Paul Bowles has provided in the preface a reasonably detailed account of her life.
The book would be valuable solely as a historical piece - a sympathetic view of the natives who are in the process of being subjugated by France. However, the writing is a pleasure to read, often becoming almost a prose poem. These are stories of wanderers, soldiers, young girls in love, old displaced farmers, and oblivion seekers. Eberhardt has the ability to make these characters both very specific and universal. Unfortunately, she did not live to produce more of this splendid writing.
I have to be satisfied with this slim volume. Mystics and wanderers By Odmonica on Nov 14, I read these short stories before heading off on a trip to the middle east and north africa. Her short pieces are sometimes eloquent petitions for the rights and the joy and the rewards of the peniless wanderer. I was inspired and it kept the business of worrying about money, and the motives of the many hospitable and amazing people I have met in these regions in check.
Oblivion Found By David C. Breithaupt on May 20, An interesting collection of short fiction with the perk of being translated by Paul Bowles. Interesting and captivating. Fascinating woman. Well written. It is a bit dark yet uses beautiful imagery, esp of the natural surroundings of the Algerian Desert Sahara. However, be forewarned that most of these stories were put together after her untimely death, and may not all be her own.
Only the last 2 can be confirmed as penned by her word for word. By Howboy on Jun 05, Meh. A remarkable life. And so are these few stories. By Jesse Kornbluth on Jul 07, She dressed as a man. She drank, smoked hashish, slept with any man she pleased.
An assassin failed to kill her, but succeeded in nearly hacking her arm off. In , when she was just 27, she died actually: drowned in a flash flood in the desert, leaving behind a handful of short stories, a thin novel and a legend so compelling she became the subject of a French film.
But a friend suggested she was too good a writer to be left in the suburbs of literary celebrity, so I settled in with eleven of her stories 50 pages of barely disguised non-fiction in a book called "The Oblivion Seekers. Start with the title, which is both appropriate and disturbing. In contemporary fiction, characters are generally trying to Get Somewhere: marry up, make a fortune, triumph over circumstance.
All they want is to be left alone. This does not mean they are losers. Their quest is exalted they seek enlightenment.
Which can only be obtained through self-purification. No possessions. No family. No career. Just endless wandering. And, of course, the drugs that push attention inward: hashish and kif. And had the astonishing courage to become one of them: "As a nomad who has no country besides Islam and neither family nor close friends, I shall wend my way through life until it is time for that everlasting sleep inside the grave.
Daily life, endlessly repeated. In the first story, a wayfarer walks and walks, and when his arms and legs grow heavy, there are "no prayers, no medicines, merely the ineffable happiness of dying.
That life has advantages: food, shelter, the right to "get drunk, gamble and go after women. At the earliest opportunity, he returns home. But there he is regarded as a soldier a suspicious character. How can this story end? Not the way you think. In the third story, a prostitute finds true love. For a while. In the end, she pays.
In the fourth, a French man who has come to Algeria to make some money comes to see the simple beauty of life on the farm and he becomes a Moslem. My favorite story, "Criminal," is a seven-page chronicle of colonialism in action. The French have decided to buy a valley. The only question: how much will they pay the Algerians who have owned the land for generations? The answer is shocking. So is the reaction. The story ends with a stunning sentence: "Crime, particularly among the poor and downtrodden, is often a last gesture of liberty.
To us, it may seem as if Isabelle Eberhardt goes too far. On every page. She exults in that: "By advancing into unknown territories, I entered into my life. This particular edition is in a Paperback format. It was published by City Lights Publishers and has a total of 88 pages in the book. To buy this book at the lowest price, Click Here. Similar Books.
The Oblivion Seekers Quotes
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.
The Oblivion Seekers