Tag Archives: biography

The Orientalist

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I am currently reading ” The Orientalist” by Tom Reiss

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A marvelous biography about the flamboyant Lev Nussimbaum

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So often when I am reading, a certain passage will resonate so strongly that I make note of it in my journals

The life of Lev is riveting as he mixes memory with desire, straddles the chasm between east and west and becomes Jew, Christian and Muslim…

You see Lev was born in October, 1905, in Baku, Azerbaijan

…but enough, here is the passage that I so wanted to share with you…

 

“….over the great arched portal ran the secret arabesque symbols of a vanished past.

Mighty, incomprehensible letters and delicate ornaments.

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I looked at them for hours, during which I would fall into a sort of dreamy, trance like meditation.

It was a state of true bliss that lasted for hours and hours.

After I returned home I changed back into my lazy, sickly, good-for-nothing self…”

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