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Trickster Travels: A Sixteenth-Century Muslim Between Worlds (2006)

by Natalie Zemon Davis

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168270,815 (3.22)3
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A potentially fascinating subject, but I'm left with a feeling of "yes, and?" at the end of the book. There's too much speculation and too little point -- even though I appreciate that the speculation is clearly labelled as such, and that the research is probably outstanding from an academic point of view (I'm not in a position to judge the specifics, but it looks sound; and the apparatus of footnotes is certainly impressive). After a series of very wandering chapters, the "Epilogue" attempts rather out of the blue to draw parallels between "Leo Africanus" and Rabelais -- which seem stretched to say the least: I came away with the impression that the only things the two men actually had in common was being contemporaries, and having written some books. Again, I cannot judge the value of this book for specialists in the field -- but on the other hand it seems to be directed to a wider, non-academic public; and as an "informed layperson'" I have to say my main impression was of pointlessness and lack of substance. ( )
  AnnaOok | Dec 4, 2007 |
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For Chandler Davis, once again--as always
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In 1514 King Manuel I of Portugal presented Pope Leo X with a white elephant from India.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0809094355, Paperback)

"[A] fascinating tale of a man forced . . . to live between incompatible worlds. Highly recommended." --Library Journal
 
Al-Hasan al-Wazzan--born in Granada to a Muslim family that in 1492 went to Morocco--became famous as the great Renaissance writer Leo Africanus, author of the first geography of Africa to be published in Europe (in 1550). He had been captured by Christian pirates in the Mediterranean and imprisoned by the pope; when he was released and baptized, he lived a European life of scholarship as the Christian writer Giovanni Leone; by 1527, it is likely that he returned to North Africa and to the language, culture, and faith in which he had been raised. Natalie Zemon Davis offers a virtuoso study of the fragmentary, partial, and often contradictory traces that al-Hasan al-Wazzan left behind him, and a superb interpretation of his extraordinary life and work.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:36:40 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Al-Hasan al-Wazzan--born in Granada to a Muslim family that in 1492 went to Morocco--became famous as the great Renaissance writer Leo Africanus, author of the first geography of Africa to be published in Europe (in 1550). He had been captured by Christian pirates in the Mediterranean and imprisoned by the pope; when he was released and baptized, he lived a European life of scholarship as the Christian writer Giovanni Leone; by 1527, it is likely that he returned to North Africa and to the language, culture, and faith in which he had been raised. Historian Davis offers a virtuoso study of the fragmentary, partial, and often contradictory traces that al-Hasan al-Wazzan left behind him, and a fresh interpretation of his extraordinary life and work.--From publisher description.--From publisher description.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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