23 Following


Currently reading

Days of Throbbing Gristle
Kevin Cole
The Colonel
Mahmoud Dowlatabadi, Mahmoud Dowlatabadi
Adieux: A Farewell to Sartre
Simone de Beauvoir
A Room of One's Own
Virginia Woolf
Les Misérables
Victor Hugo, Charles E. Wilbour, Peter Washington
By David Zane Mairowitz Introducing Camus [Paperback] - David Zane Mairowitz

This book starts with the tragic scene of Albert Camus' death and ends with one of his quotes which says dying  in a car accident is a "stupid death".


Camus died on January 4, 1960 at the age of 46, in a car accident near Sens, in Le Grand Fossard in the small town of  Villeblevin. 


Albert Camus the prophet of absurdity of twentieth century was born on 7th October 1913, in Mondovi form parents who immigrated to Algeria as a place for their living. His father died a year later in battle of Marne during world war I. His mother who first was a house cleaner, after his husband's death came back to his grandmother's house shamefully. An illiterate mother who wasn't healthy. Who was always silent and never fondled him because she didn't know what that meant…he felt pity for her.


Albert Camus' last novel,The First Man, which manuscripts of it was found in a car in which he was killed in an accident, somehow is his own autobiography. A child from an emigrant family who lived in poor areas of a city. Later on this fact made him think differently about cruel colonists and low and labor class emigrants who were forced to come to another country for job.



This graphical book is a critic of his works more than his biography alone. The second investigated book is Exile and the Kingdom which is a story of a factory that after an unsuccessful strike a dark and hostile space developed between the workers and the owner. The space of this novel is symbolically an indicator of the cultural situation in Algeria which was a mixture of Arabic, French and Spanish labors. Camus loves this picture of Algeria. And this picture later on would have a great effect on his political decisions.


Unlike all other French writers, Camus did not have an intellectual past. In their house there wasn't a big library. Their grandmother governed on them strictly and made them work after school. The young Camus was in love with football and he himself said later that all his understandings of morality were formed on football ground. He had to leave football in 1930 because of his body's betrayal: He was diagnosed with tuberculosis.



Unlike many people of his century he had certain expectations from communism and never turned to Marxist – Leninist philosophy. For him, a political party was limited only to balancing the Algerian Arabic labor's situations.  


In 1938, Camus started working as an ethical journalist in Alger Républicain newspaper. He wrote of injustices. He had a special style in journalism. He used first person verbs and never forgot to sympathy with the oppressed people.


By approaching war, Camus volunteered as a soldier but was rejected because of his TB disease. He couldn't do anything else but journalism. At that time Alger Républicain  was closed and he became the editor of Soir Républicain newspaper.  But after a while he was "proposed" by the governor to leave the Algeria.  



Albert Camus presence in Paris was coincided with Hitler's army entrance to soil of France. Camus started his activity at Paris Soir newspaper and it was there where he began his three of greatest works in absurd philosophy: The Stranger, The Myth of Sisyphus and Caligula.


MOTHER died today. Or, maybe, yesterday; I can’t be sure. The telegram from the Home says: YOUR MOTHER PASSED AWAY.FUNERAL TOMORROW.DEEP SYMPATHY. Which leaves the matter doubtful; it could have been yesterday.



The absurd protagonist of The Stranger doesn't have any feeling for his mother's death. Meursault smokes and drinks coffee next to his mother's coffin.


When the Nazi Germany occupied half of France, the young Camus didn't cooperate with them. At that time he performed his last modifications on his second greatest work , The Myth of Sisyphus that he was working on it for more than 5 years.


There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide.


This book wasn't written without being impressed by political situations of its own time. In fact this book was a reflection of fascism threat on global system. The main question of Camus is that without any moral and spiritual reference, what should be done against the huge wave of irrationality?


The third work of Camus is Caligula which was known as his most famous play. Caligula can be a symbol of Hitler . When he realized that the world is absurd starts a mass destruction. Unlike Muersault who couldn't change the world, Caligula was so powerful.


Since 1942, Camus joined Combat, an anti-Fascist group and worked as a journalist in a newpaper with the same name. the first issue of the newspaper in Paris with its famous headline, From Resistance to Revolution had a strong unsigned article in its first page:


Paris is firing all its ammunition into the August night. Against a vast backdrop of water and stone, on both sides of a river awash with history, freedom's barricades are once again being erected. Once again justice must be redeemed with men's blood.


The clear Rhetoric of the article revealed the author.


In 1943, the Nazis occupied the southern region of France. Camus analogizes their presence in France to Plague in his new and famous novel.


In 1945 by atomic attack of America to Japan, while many of journalists and writers were silent, Camus was the only person who had an active and clear position:


 Mechanical civilization has just reached its final degree of savagery.  We are going to have to choose, in a future that is more or less imminent, between collective suicide and the intelligent use of scientific conquests.


Albert Camus' friendship with Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir was formed in Café Flore. Despite his steady companionship with them, Camus never considered himself an Existentialist.



In his after war headlines, the word "rebel" is seen repetitively after "Absurd" word. This word finally became the title of a book which was published in 1951.


In absurdist experience, suffering is individual. But from the moment when a movement of rebellion begins, suffering is seen as a collective experience.


He exhibited the rebellion phenomenon first in a novel, The Plague then in a philosophical work, The Rebel and finally as a play, The Just Assassins.


After publishing The Rebel, Camus was criticized sharply followed by the famous letter of Jean-Paul Sartre that by a quarrel their friendship ended.


In war of Algeria, Camus because of his attachment to that country (still his mother and sister lived there) had a discrete approach. He believed in a peaceful coexistence of French descent Algerians (that finally had to leave this country) and native Arabs. But this beliefs were denied both by many Arab and French people. He published The Guest  which was related to these political situations.


The last novel by Albert Camus which was published in final years of his life is The Fall  which according to many critics like Sartre is his best work.


In 1975, Camus published a book which was obviously beyond his time: Reflections on Guillotine. In this book, he called Guillotine "The sadistic essence of government". Camus writes about the death penalty as a relic of the past:


The criminal is killed because he has been killed for centuries, and furthermore he is killed according to a procedure established at the end of the eighteenth century. The same arguments that have served as legal tender for centuries are perpetuated as a matter of routine, contradicted only by those measures which the evolution of public sensibility renders inevitable.



My note:


Having read almost all of the books mentioned above and intending to read The Rebel soon, I really didn't know that Albert Camus was such a great man…I love him.

The Lost Estate (Le Grand Meaulnes) - Henri Alain-Fournier

In a boring afternoon of one of these days of June, I chose Le Grand Meaulnes immediately in the local library right after the librarian's alarm that they were closing. It was French and I thought I had a glance on a review before. By reading a few pages of it, I realized that it was a young adult story of two boys François and his best friend Meaulnes who lived in a lower-class school in a village. Narrating in a first person, I thought despite its title there was no trace of Meaulnes himself. I thought "No, I don't feel like reading this", I even wanted to interrupt. But because I did not have any other fiction unread in my bookshelves I continued reading. Well...is it a Tim Burton transcription? Mysterious abandoned house in the middle of a jungle… kids…girls dancing...a mysterious party. I kept reading and then again came back to the little preface and read it carefully to find out what kind of French classic it was:

This little mysterious masterpiece with its astounding simplicity and purity, and its deep sensitivity that is used for showing the feelings and emotions of a little mysterious world full of hope and sadness, has influenced strongly many works after itself.

It is going to be a love story? Although the blurb says anotherThe catcher in the rye but I thought maybe The great Gatsbytoo, unless it is not historical at all. In the middle of the book I thought that it was going to find its shape and kind of unputdownable because everything seemed to be finished and still half of the book remained. Well, he finds a mysterious house and a mysterious girl. Then all his life he searches for that house and girl. He becomes a wanderer. The magic and mysteriousness of that house and atmosphere unconsciously form his feelings. He searches maybe not to find the girl but to find that feeling again.

By finishing the book I had this feeling that it had that message of Gustave Flaubert in Sentimental Education. By depicting that this book declares the end of romanticism and its possible natural consequences, the protagonist, the great Meaulnes is the symbol of a transition.

It is said that a poll of French readers some years ago placed this book sixth of all 20th-century books, just behind Proust and Camus and also it has been twice filmed.

The Years - Virginia Woolf

But you may ask why The Years and not Mrs. Dalloway first? I don't know. I think it was a fortunate to find it in my local library and by reading a few pages of it, I realized that I must read it first. Did you know that I tried to read Mrs. Dalloway for more than 3 times, and even once I read almost half of the book, but I failed to finish it? I was losing my hope. I thought Woolf is not my type.

Reading A room of one's own opened my eyes to many things. That Virginia Woolf mainly concentrates on what kinds of things around us. Let me think. It is a book on women, writing and novels but you see she's describing a cat without a tail in the yard of Oxford University. Amazing huh? And then she compares herself with that cat. I don't think she was a revolutionary feminist. She didn't write a book like The golden notebook of Doris Lessing. She is not The woman destroyed of Simone de Beauvoir, despite her life. I think she was beyond all these things. Although I am not a professional Woolf reader, after reading the years I felt I discovered something new in my life: a new author, a new kind of writing above all kinds of hatred, a new kind of womanhood in fact.

She's smart. She has her own style. She's strong. She's different.

The Years is like I can say The Waves that I have read it years ago, I could finish it but I don't think I wholly understood it, because of a bad translation or perhaps it's untranslatable or maybe I wasn't yet a mature reader. It is the story of a family. There are 4 sisters and 3 brothers living in a big house with their sick mother and father. This is how it starts. The title of each chapter is a certain year. It goes for decades for almost fifty years until each one of the characters gets old.

What we expect from a Woolf novel should not be a mixture of events which supposedly must constitute a special year (chapter). Like chapter 1914 which is describing only one day, they are snapshots of a period od time. I realized that I should read it like a poem, a long poem of winds, clouds, leaves, pigeons, sounds and noise, seasons , streets and London. Each chapter starts with a description of a special season and then characters are floating in these natural frames.

It was January. Snow was falling; snow had fallen all day. The sky spread like a grey goose’s wing from which feathers were falling all over England. The sky was nothing but a flurry of falling flakes. Lanes were levelled; hollows filled; the snow clogged the streams; obscured windows, and lay wedged against doors.

This is beautiful to see that how characters remain themselves by passing years. How for instance Sara poetically reacts to other people's behavior in her 40's like her 20's. Or how Woolf manages that her characters remembers those memories from years ago that we have read about them in previous chapters and it was for me a reminiscence of reading Proust. I think one main special characteristics of Woolf's is that you have to participate in the novel. Although she puts some clues in different places but you have to guess some things yourself. And that makes it a mysterious reading.

The main characters are mainly women. One thing that I really liked about them was that Woolf sometimes sees them from the eyes of other people, an old man sitting in front of them in a bus for instance:
The man on whose toe she had trodden sized her up; a well-known type; with a bag; philanthropic; well nourished; a spinster; a virgin; like all the women of her class, cold; her passions had never been touched; yet not unattractive. She was laughing. . . .

That above sentence looked so natural to me. I mean as she herself says in A room of one's own, a successful female author writes beyond her gender. And Woolf proves that she is like that.

بیست و یک داستان از نویسندگان معاصر فرانسه

بیست و یک داستان از نویسندگان معاصر فرانسه - ابوالحسن نجفی, Jules Tellier, Charles-Louis Philippe, André Maurois, Joseph Kessel, Jean Giono, Michel Déon, Gilles Perrault, Boris Vian, Jean Cau, Eugène Ionesco, Jean Freustie, Romain Gary, Jean-Paul Sartre, Roger Ikor, Albert Camus, Claude Roy, Samuel Beckett, Marguerit This book is a collection of some very good short stories of some of the best contemporary French authors. Carefully selected and translated. Besides Sartre, Camus and Beckett (and I wish there was a place for Simone de Beauvoir too) I really liked Boris Vian's Les Fourmis from his book with the same name that made me move it up in my to-read list.

The Dark Child

The Dark Child - Camara Laye, Alfred Ernest Jones, James Kirkup, Philippe Thoby-Marcellin I did have hopes for this book. I thought it would be enlightening in some ways about African historical and political issues. But it wasn't like that. Instead it concentrated on some traditional costumes that to tell you the truth I wasn't much interested in them. Mainly the traditions revolving around men: Genital circumcision rituals, celebrations and dances and how boys should avoid women, even their mothers, during those days and how after that they become real 'men'! And considering that in some African countries there existed (or maybe still exists) female genital mutilation--that is so much painful than male's, because it's a healthy organ which they remove and they consider it a nasty devilish flesh -- I couldn't enjoy reading about those rituals.

مسیو ابراهیم و گل های قران

مسیو ابراهیم و گل های قران - Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt, حسین منصوری My first Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt, and it would be the last.
This is a translated edition of Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran. While the idea of having two Jewish and Muslim characters who happen to be friends can be seen interesting, but I think this is only a story from the types of The Alchemist, nothing more.

The translation was very good. The translator in afterwards says that the poems in the book that are referred to Rumi by the author in the original edition are actually from Shams; another Sufi Persian poet.

17 Narradoras Latinoamericanas/17 Stories by Latin American Women

17 Narradoras Latinoamericanas/17 Stories by Latin American Women - Lectorum My life is worth after reading this little collection of short stories by some of the greatest Latin American Women authors:

1. Isabel Allende
2. Montserrat ordóñez Vila
3. Claribel Alegri
4. Cristina Peri Rossi
5. Elena Poniatwoska
6. Mariella Sala
7. Rosario Ferre
8. Magali Garcia Ramos
9. Isabel Garma
10. Silvia Molina
11. Viviana Mellet
12. Liliana Heker

Amazing, every single one of them.

The Woman Destroyed

The Woman Destroyed - Simone de Beauvoir Read the 'Woman destroyed'.

A Home for the Highland Cattle and the Antheap

A Home for the Highland Cattle and the Antheap - Doris Lessing My edition had only the Antheap.

The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution

The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution - Shulamith Firestone In my own case, I had to retain myself out of that phony smile, which is like a nervous tic on every teenage girl. And this meant that I smiled rarely, for in truth, when it came down to real smiling, I had less to smile about. My "dream" action for the women's liberation movement: a Smile boycott at which declaration all women would instantly abandon their "pleasing" smiles, henceforth smiling only when something pleased them.

Reading Shulamith Firestone's The Dialectic of Sex is like reading the Communist Manifesto for the first time in life in 21th century. One might say what a utopia or perhaps what a dystopia (an Atwood would be preferred!), for it is not only a commentary on women's right and sexual discriminations. It goes much farther than that. To biology, to nature itself.

I remember I had a friend some years ago who was kind of losing her faith on God and religion but yet not completely and one of her main concerns was that a creature like woman was completely against God's justice. Why a women should have pms why they should bear children why they are weak and such other biological issues. As an atheist it was not actually understandable to me, when there was no god there was no room to ask about a creator's justice. Now I understand that what she made question of, was not unrelated.

Shulamith Firestone was a radical feminist and a founder of Women's Liberation Movement; she wrote this book when she was 25. She was graduated in art and after publishing this book she left politics, continued her life as a painter. Her other work which is a collection of short stories is Airless Spaces.

First I have to confirm that radical feminist or feminism itself is not a threat for male humanism or more bluntly it's not ani-men or hatred for them. Because we have a feminism in philosophy, sociology or other kinds of behavioral sciences and one horrible feminism in public depicting some angry women (Bitches!) demanding some unusual requests. I actually had to comment it somewhere because each time I carry around a feminist book with myself people look as if they are watching a peculiar reader: Why???! (with a very affectionate voice) why Elham?!

Perhaps if we compare sexism with racism things would be much clearer, but actually I'm not that hopeful. When someone was oppressed and weak during centuries and even from the ancient times when the evolutionary biology created her, everybody thinks that she must continue being like that, because it is her nature. It is in her nature to be a sex object. It is her nature to bear children. It is in her nature to rear children. Motherhood is in her nature. She is naturally not created for some works. She naturally and therefore officially has to be shut up ("Move on little girl; we have more important issues to talk about here than women's liberation" Firestone was told by the National Conference for New Politics Director Willim F. Pepper). When a black /a working class /a third world man demands his rights, if he has something to say he is free. No needs to explain more than that. But a woman first should prove that she is a full human being (and after all they will say she speaks like a man!).

OK, that's true that nature itself is guilty. But should it be continued like that?! Should a human being remain a slave to her (or his) biology?!

Pregnancy is barbaric.

Of course things can be changed for equality between men and women. And it should be corrected that "a complete equality" . A woman should be as equal as man in child bearing. If men cannot do that, women must not be obliged to do that so. This is part of Firestone's proposed world.

The only reason that applying artificial wombs is not acceptable or is horrible is that we have a patriarchal society (patriarchal world) with male supremacy with exclusion of women from sciences.

If Marx says that the ultimate cause of social discriminations is capitalism and seeks it through historical materialism and from the very first stages of economic development, he was missing something. The ultimate cause of all discriminations is family itself.

The original division of labor was between man and woman.

The philosophy of Feminism has direct relationship with Freudianism and in fact both grew from the same soil. It is not accidental that Freud started his work at the height of the early feminist movement. A big part of women and children oppression reason comes from Oedipus and Electra complexes.

This book is a missing link between Marx and Freud.

Some books have many things to say. And this book does. Let it be heard!

The District Doctor

The District Doctor - Ivan Turgenev Just googled "best Russian short stories" and found it in wiki:


Introduction to Sociology: Feminist Perspectives

Introduction to Sociology: Feminist Perspectives - Pamela Abbott, Claire Wallace Image and video hosting by TinyPic

It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America.

It’s time for all the women in America–-and all the men that love women and all the gay people and all the people of color that we’ve all fought for–-to fight for us now.


The different Feminist perspectives discussed in this book are: Liberal/reformist feminist , Radical feminism , Marxist feminism , Socialist feminism and some Black feminist perspectives .

Case study is Great Britain , around 1988 . Many researches and surveys on different subjects have been done and the results and some statistics presented on this book and the main point is that they must be done by women not by men for traditional sociology or sociology dominated by men proved that it has always ignored women and their demands and whatever which is not from the male perspectives has been considered as unusual or not related to sociology at all . The opening sentence of the first chapter is:

Sociology remains a male-dominated discipline, and this has fundamental implications for its theories, methods, research and teaching.

Sociology dominated by men , accepts that the main role that women have in life as a wife or mother is natural and women are naturally designed to do some special things .

But feminists raise the question and ask why??

…malestream sociology has in the main seen women’s roles as natural and therefore not investigated or problematised them; sociology’s tools, concepts and theories have been developed to investigate the public world of men and are inadequate for investigating the world that women inhabit and the relationships between men and women. Questions such as ‘Why don’t men care for children?’, ‘Why do men and not women have leisure?’, become key issues to be researched and explained. Concepts such as social class are seen to be inadequate as theorised in malestream research (see Chapter 3), and the methods used in malestream research are seen to be inadequate for investigating women’s lives.

Sociology believes that based on statistics women are not as active as men in some special professions , and that is because women naturally and biologically are tending to do so and therefore have some low paid jobs . They are not good in science and mathematics . Well , look at the history ! How many women mathematicians do we have ?! Are they comparable with the huge number of men mathematicians?!

Feminists raised the question and ask why??

The sociology of education has been concerned primarily with examining class inequalities in educational achievement, and especially the relative failure of workingclass children in obtaining educational qualifications. Until recently, sociologists have overlooked other important dimensions of educational differentiation – for example, gender and racial differences in achievement. Feminists have argued that girls are not only disadvantaged in the educational system, but that it is there that they learn to be subordinate and to accept dominant ideologies of femininity and masculinity. Girls, for example, come to see themselves as less important than boys and specifically as ‘no good’ at mathematics and sciences. Girls are apparently channelled into particular subjects that are seen as suitable for them and thus have their opportunities in the labour market severely reduced as a consequence. What needs to be explained is how girls come to accept this.

Sociology dominated by men never paid attention to inferior house works done by women all their life and did not consider it in their studies.

But feminists showed that actually women works at home is expensive:

Housework, the ‘unpaid’ labour of a wife, is worth quite a lot if it had to be paid for at market rates. In 1987 the Legal and General Life Assurance Company estimated that a ‘dependent’ wife was worth £19,253 a year in earnings (quoted in Sunday Times, 29 March 1987). The Company located on a computer the ‘average’ wife, a 37-year-old mother of two named Rosalind Harris. Her work was found to start at 7 a.m. on Monday when she began to prepare the breakfast and to end at 9 p.m. that day (a 14-hour working day). During the week she worked as a shopper, a window-cleaner, a nurse, a driver, a cleaner, a cook and a child-minder. Her total working week was of 92 hours’ duration. (This excludes periods ‘on call’, with the children in bed.)

Sociology believes that women are naturally designed for caring ; whenever a family member gets sick it is them who are responsible . And that directly affects governments considerations , while women's health is not the main issue . Just think about if men were the main users of contraception devices , how many of them would use the intrapenile device described by Dr Sophie Merkin:

The newest development in male contraception was unveiled recently at the American Women’s Centre. Dr Sophie Merkin of the Merkin Clinic announced the preliminary findings of a study conducted on 763 unsuspecting male undergraduates at a large mid-Western university. In her report, Dr Merkin stated that the new contraceptive – the IPD – was a breakthrough in male contraception. It will be marketed under the trade name Umbrelly. The IPD (intrapenile device) resembles a tightly rolled umbrella which is inserted through the head of the penis and pushed into the scrotum with a plunger-like device. Occasionally there is a perforation of the scrotum, but this is disregarded as the male has few nerve-endings in this area of his body. The underside of the umbrella contains a spermicidal jelly, hence the name Umbrelly. Experiments on 1000 white whales from the continental shelf (whose sexual apparatus is said to be closest to man’s) proved the IPD to be 100% effective in preventing the production of sperm and eminently satisfactory to the female whale since it does not interfere with her rutting pleasure. Dr Merkin declared the Umbrelly to be statistically safe for the human male. She reported that of the 763 undergraduates tested with the device only two died of scrotal infection, only twenty developed swelling of the testicles and only thirteen were too depressed to have an erection. She stated that common complaints ranged from cramping and bleeding to acute abdominal pains. She emphasised that these symptoms were merely indications that the man’s body had not yet adjusted to the device. Hopefully the symptoms would disappear within a year. One complication caused by the IPD and briefly mentioned by Dr Merkin was the incidence of massive scrotal infection necessitating the surgical removal of the testicles. ‘But this is a rare case,’ said Dr Merkin, ‘too rare to be statistically important.’ She and other distinguished members of the Women’s College of Surgeons agreed that the benefits far outweighed the risk to any individual man.

From Outcome magazine, the East Bay Men’s Centre newsletter, and The Periodical Lunch published by Andrew Rock, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA).

That was obviously ridiculous . It was also a joke - no such device has been invented . But actually ‘side effects’ of female contraception are not much different from that .

Sociology believes that the crime statistics suggest that women are considerably less criminal than men and that's really very good . But considering that crimes are mainly done in working class parts of society , people who probably are under pressure , fewer crimes between women lead feminists to "control theory".

In sociology the reason that women are notably absent from what is conventionally seen as ‘politics’ is that women are not naturally interested in these things .

But feminists raise the question and ask why?!

They (men) ask why so few women have participated in political activities rather than asking how men have managed so successfully to exclude women.

And finally the last chapter is about The Production of Feminist Knowledges .

And this question will be raised in mind why feminism ? Why ??

The Complete Persepolis

The Complete Persepolis - Marjane Satrapi I liked Persepolis. Beautiful drawings, hilarious jokes and facts about the fundamentalists and Iran's government and some perhaps good political dialogs and information for someone who hasn't known them already. I laughed and cried several times.

But as she grows up, I didn't find her as a strong author having a very rich plan to distinguish her work from a usual popular story – in fact if we remove the political and other things about Iran, there remain only some beautiful illustrations. I think the power of an author in writing can be more seen in her ability of imagination – not just what's happening and what will happen next. I liked the first sections more.

Moreover, this is a story about Iran from the eyes of a girl from a specific social class, her parents and relatives are communists and the king before Reza Shah was her grandfather. All these which are cleared from the first pages of the book, might make the reader have doubts of not being able to see an author with general political view points. The way that she claims the revolution was more due to communism party efforts, non religious people and women without headscarves in demonstrations is something that I couldn't accept easily. In fact to my knowledge 1979 revolution was both massive and Islamic. Although communists in Iran were some well organized and intellectual people, they never could deeply affect the whole society as much as Ayatollah Khomeyni could.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Introduction to Islamic Theology and Law

Introduction to Islamic Theology and Law - Ignaz Goldziher A very comprehensive, complete research on historical aspects of formation of Islamic theology and law.

Ignaz Goldziher, a Jewish Hungarian, was indeed one of the greatest scholars of Islam who spent all of his life researching , writing treatises, essays and articles and then traveling in Islamic countries in order to find the origins of Islamic doctrines and rituals.

I have read about Goldziher first in Ali Dashti's book , and this is officially the second critical work I read about Islam. I must say, in comparison to Ali Dashti's, I found it more accurate and impartial, perhaps for this reason that he looked Islam as an outsider, and could judge better than an oppressed insider of an Islamic country.

Although Goldziher's works are known as great Islamic resources in even Islamic countries, this book of him is banned here, but I could find a PDF scanned version in net which was translated by an Iranian Shia, published before Islamic revolution. In introduction, the translator says that some of the arguments Golziher claims is wrong (or not whole the truth) and he had explained about them in footnotes, but I couldn't find any except for Goldziher's perhaps ignorance of Shia versus Sunni, since this book is more written based on Sunni's references.

This book contains 6 chapters:

I. Muhammad and Islam
II. The Development of Law
III. The Growth of Development of Dogmatic Theology
IV. Asceticism and Sufism
V. The Sects
VI. Later Developments

The first chapter, I have read it in Dashti's book which is all about 23 years of the prophetic careers of Mohammad. The other chapters were so interesting specially chapter 3 and 4 which are more about different Islamic parties like Ash'ari and Mu'tazali which the latter was a kind of more different from orthodoxy, tried to combine philosophy and reason with Islam.

Swann's Way (In Search of Lost Time, #1)

Swann's Way (In Search of Lost Time, #1) - Marcel Proust, C.K. Scott Moncrieff, Terence Kilmartin, D.J. Enright Love itself is a big mess. I didn't like to read about it too.

The Misunderstanding

The Misunderstanding - Albert Camus, Graham Ley You have a god. Pray to him. Ask him to turn you into stone. It's the only true happiness. And he knows it. That's why he keeps it for himself. So do what he does. Turn yourself into stone. Be deaf to all cries. There isn't much time. Do it while you can. But if it proves too much for you - an unbroken silence, the only peace on earth - come and join us. You'll know where we are. We share the same house. Goodbye, sister. I'll leave you with your god. It's all very simple. You have a choice to make. The senseless bliss of a pebble on the beach, or the clammy embrace of the bed that welcomes everyone. We'll be there. And we'll be waiting for you.

One of the best Existentialist plays I have ever read! One of the best of Camus!
I will read it again.

And how wonderful the last scene was (after Maria's pray to God)

MARIA (with a cry of desperation) Oh, my God! I can't live in this desert. My Saviour, my Lord! Hear my prayer! You must hear me! (She falls on her knees.) I turn to you and put my trust in you, Lord! Have pity on me and stretch out your hand! Hear my prayer, and turn your face to me! Have mercy on us! On those who love each other, and are driven apart!(The door opens, and the Old Man appears.)

Scene four

OLD MAN (in a firm, clear voice) Were you calling for me?
MARIA (turning to him) Oh, no. Perhaps. I don't know. But help me, please. Someone must help. Have pity on me! I need your help. Please help me!
OLD MAN (in the same, clear voice) No.