A Question of Precedence & Other Middle East Stories by Marmaduke Pickthall

£14.95

For the first time, Peter Clark brings together all the short stories by Marmaduke Pickthall on the theme of the Middle East in one volume.

The lands in which Pickthall’s stories are set to have, since his time, undergone changes that have been violent and unprecedented. Wars, revolutions, displacement and emigration, voluntary and forced, have been a lot of Syrians, Palestinians, Egyptians and Turks since Pickthall’s time. These people are the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the men and women among whom Pickthall travelled, whom he loved and whose lives he has reconstructed for our enlightenment and delight.

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Description

Pickthall is a wonderful storyteller. He brings us straight into the narrative, with sharply drawn personalities, dealing with dilemmas to which we can relate. He builds a picture of the physical environment; – buildings, flowers, the landscape – that is convincing. His central characters may be rogues and cheats, religious fanatics, bandits or hypocrites. They are all drawn as the result of acute observation. We see the world from the perspective of an Egyptian soldier, a Syrian peasant, an Ottoman official.

His use of language is remarkable. In his Middle East fiction, novels and stories, he uses an archaic English, comprehensible but unfamiliar. It is as if the world he is reproducing is alien, and needs to be clothed in words and phrases that take the reader right away from his or her world.

The lands in which Pickthall’s stories are set, have since his time undergone changes that have been violent and unprecedented. Wars, revolutions, displacement and emigration, voluntary and forced, have been a lot of Syrians, Palestinians, Egyptians and Turks since Pickthall’s time. These people are the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the men and women among whom Pickthall travelled, whom he loved and whose lives he has reconstructed for our enlightenment and delight.

Table of Contents

Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………………………..9.

GREATER SYRIA …………………………………………………………………………………… 13.

A Bit Of History …………………………………………………………………………………….. 15.

A Champion Of Christendom …………………………………………………………….. 25.

A Question Of Precedence ………………………………………………………………….. 37.

The Tale Of A Camp ……………………………………………………………………………… 43.

Tra-La-La ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. 53.

The Word Of An Englishman………………………………………………………………69.

The Just Steward ………………………………………………………………………………….. 81.

Father Saba ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 91.

Count Abdullah ………………………………………………………………………………….. 105.

enȃb Ul Amȋr …………………………………………………………………………………….. 117.

The Battle Of The Trees……………………………………………………………………. 133.

Knights Errant ……………………………………………………………………………………. 145.

EGYPT

Karàkter ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 161.

A Case Of Oppression ……………………………………………………………………….. 173.

The Murderer …………………………………………………………………………………….. 185.

The Cook And The Soldier……………………………………………………………….. 195.

Hashȋsh………………………………………………………………………………………………… 205.

His Honour’s Pleasure A Study In Pure Nerves…………………………… 215.

The Story Of Hȃfiz……………………………………………………………………………… 227.

The Kefr Ammeh Incident ……………………………………………………………….. 237.

Cross-Purposes ………………………………………………………………………………….. 259.

Between Ourselves……………………………………………………………………………. 275.

Turkey

An Ordeal By Fire ………………………………………………………………………………. 295.

Melek……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 307 ..Unofficial……………………………………………………………………………………………… 321.

A Matter Of Taste……………………………………………………………………………….. 335.

The Marseilles Tragedy ……………………………………………………………………. 349.