Reisverhaal Yemen - Travels in Dictionary Land | Mackintosh-Smith (9780719597404)
Our ideas of the Arabian Peninusula have been hijacked: by images of the desert, by oil, by the Gulf War. But there is another Arabia. For the Classical geographers Yemen was a fabulous land where flying serpents guarded sacred incense groves. Medieval Arab visitors told of disappearing islands and menstruating mountains. Vita Sackville-West found Aden 'precisely the most repulsive corner of the world'. Arguably the most fascinating but least known country in the Arab world, Yemen has a way of attracting comment that ranges from the superficial to the wildly fictitious. In Yemen: Travels in Dictionary Land, Tim Mackintosh-Smith writes with an intimacy and depth of knowledge gained through over twenty years among the Yemenis. He is a travelling companion of the best sort - erudite, witty and eccentric. Crossing mountain, desert, ocean and three millennia of history, he portrays hyrax hunters and dhow skippers, a noseless regicide, and a sword-wielding tyrant with a passion for Heinz Russian salad. Yet even the ordinary Yemenis are extraordinary: their family tree goes back to Noah and is rooted in a land which, in the words of a contemporary poet, has become the dictionary of its people. Every page of this book is dashed - like the land it describes - with the marvellous.
'Mackintosh-Smith's achievement is to create an entertaining and enlightened view of Yemen, free from the familiar prejudices about Arabs, touched instead by sophistication and savagery, by grim reality and fabulous tales... masterful' - Sunday Times * 'Yemen... is assured and agile: witty, quirky, gossipy, learned, poetic... [Tim Mackintosh-Smith] has created a work that will endure' - The Times * 'Mackintosh-Smith seems incapable of writing a dull sentence, and in him the scholar, the linguist and the storyteller swap hats with marvellous speed' - New York Times * 'Mackintosh-Smith succeeds admirably in shining a light on an obscure corner of the world' - Financial Times * 'He freshens the genre, adding a street-wise sensibility to impressive erudition... very promising and accomplished' - Times Literary Supplement"
A very entertaining book about a wonderful country of the which the inhabitants are very pleasant & hospitable folks (I happen to be befriended with quite a few). The book gives great insight on the challenges faced not just for the traveller but also the Yemenis themselves.★★★★★ door Louis G.L. Hofman 6 oktober 2014
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