3.34 (23 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by 

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"Talismano" is a novelistic exploration of writing seen as a hallucinatory journey through half-remembered, half-imagined cities--in particular, the city of Tunis, both as it is now, and as it once was. Walking and writing, journey and journal, mirror one another to produce a calligraphic, magical work: a palimpsest of various languages and cultures, highlighting Abdelwahab Meddeb's beguiling mastery of both the Western and Islamic traditions. Meddeb's journey is first and foremost a sensual one, almost decadent, where the narrator luxuriates in the Tunis of his memories and intercuts these impressions with recollections of other cities at other times, reviving the mythical figures of Arab-Islamic legend that have faded from memory in a rapidly westernizing North Africa. A fever dream situated on the knife-edge between competing cultures, "Talismano" is a testament to the power of language to evoke, and subdue, experience.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 142 x 203 x 20mm | 454g
  • Normal, IL, United States
  • English
  • 1564786293
  • 9781564786296
  • 979,553

Review quote

Meddeb promises nothing short of an orgy. First, an orgy of the senses: at the outset of the novel, a city, Tunis, deploys its smells and shadows, like the fulfillment of an erotic desire. But also an orgy of sense, of meaning: reviving heresy and heathens, the novel culminates in the sacrificial slaughter of a bull. Talismano lays out an enigmatic mosaic . . . It took a foreigner, someone who is not what he seems, to unleash the French language and send it whirling. --G rard Dupuy
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Rating details

23 ratings
3.34 out of 5 stars
5 22% (5)
4 13% (3)
3 48% (11)
2 13% (3)
1 4% (1)
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