Books 2010

Books 2009

« Sacred texts | Main | A picture of Afghanistan »

Monday, 03 September 2007


Very nicely written post. It contains useful information for me. I am happy to find your distinguished way of writing the post. Now you make it easy for me to understand and implement the concept. Thank you for the post

Thank you, Jodie, for the source of this legend - and Equiano for the suggestion of a place to visit in Boston. I did in fact go there in March, but spent my time in other galleries - as ever, ars longa, vita brevis!

The story originally comes from the tales of Mulla Nasrudin, a legendary Sufi mystic, supposedly born in Anatolia in the 13th century. The stories are told in The Exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin, by Idries Shah, but I first came across them when I was growing up and The Guardian published a daily comic strip called Tales of the Hodja by William Papas - family members used to fight to read it first. There's some more about Nasrudin, including links to more stories at

I like this telling of the story too.

Chilling little poem, isn't it? It says so much in such a short space. Very good.

This is a famous story (the one told in the poem I mean) though I have no idea where it originates from.

I am a fan of persian miniatures, particularly the shahnama (I hasten to add, a very ignorant fan, I just enjoy them at museums etc and read a bit about them occasionally). If you visit Boston, be sure to visit the Sackler Museum in Cambridge which has a glorious collection of islamic art, the miniatures mostly on loan from the Aga Khan. Lovely!

The comments to this entry are closed.


  • Nothing is of greater consolation to the author of a novel than the disovery of readings he had not conceived but which are then prompted by his readers. (Umberto Eco, Reflections on The Name of the Rose)
  • ... relatively few persons in London ... can afford the luxury of one or more servants. No fewer than 3,700,000 have no servants at all, and of the half million that have servants 227,000 have only one. (The Times, 6 June 1895)
  • Standing among savage scenery, the hotel offers stupendous revelations. There is a French widow in every bedroom, affording delightful prospects. (Tyrolean inn brochure, according to Gerard Hoffnung)
  • (A doctor is at an elderly relative's deathbed) "The old sawbones, eh?" he bellowed ... "Just in the nick, perhaps. Haul the old girl back by the short hairs, if you ask me. Devilish smart at his work ... Always take a fence with more confidence when I know he's out with us."
  • Too often, when a man of Monty Godkin's mental powers is plunged in thought, nothing happens at all. The machinery just whirs for a while, and that is the end of it. (P G Wodehouse, Heavy Weather)
  • ...the breed that take their pleasures as Saint Laurence took his grid (Kipling, The Five nations)

Photo Albums

Blog powered by Typepad