CINEMA EDEN: Essays from the Muslim Mediterranean

Juan Goytisolo, Author , trans. from the Spanish by Peter Bush. Sickle Moon $19.95 (144p) ISBN 978-1-900209-16-8

Spain's great expatriate writer Goytisolo conveys his passion for Islamic popular culture in sensuous, bustling prose. He tours the thronging citadels of Arab cosmopolitanism and celebrates the clowns, bike artistes and gnaua musicians of Marrakech, his adoptive city. He recounts delighting in the scintillating karate and Bollywood repertoire of his local flea-pit cinema—teasing his reader with hints of genre theory. Goytisolo writes like a self-conscious modernist. Istanbul he praises for its "polyglot discourse," its panoramas, bazaars, baths and oiled Turkish wrestlers. Cairo he appreciates for mingling weddings and funerals, bringing feelings of regeneration to his spirit. Scholarly in his explications of popular Islam's complex hagiography and system of brotherhoods, Goytisolo clearly values the sheer spectacle of Islamic pilgrimage and festival. His biography of the 13th-century dervish poet Mawlana is racy and appears to echo aspects of his own unusual literary career. Personal literary influence looms large when Goytisolo contemplates the provocative oeuvre of Jean Genet at the poet's cliff-side grave in Larache, Morocco. In the most fictionalized and playful of all these essays, Goytisolo recalls his first visit to Turkey in 1979, after a military coup. Wandering among the cave towns and rock formations of Cappadocia, he encountered an enigmatic elderly man who had claimed that Gaudí (long dead) was living as a recluse nearby and was busy carving out creations in the surrounding valley. A deliciously pretentious aesthete, Goytisolo unashamedly romanticizes popular Islamic life in beguiling, immensely readable, poetic prose. (Mar. 29)

Reviewed on: 03/01/2004
Release date: 04/01/2004
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.