Thursday, April 21, 2011

Top 10 quest narratives

Robert Irwin has published six novels including The Arabian Nightmare, The Mysteries of Algiers, Exquisite Corpse, and Satan Wants Me. He is the author of ten works of non-fiction including The Arabian Nights: A Companion, Night and Horses and the Desert: The Penguin Anthology of Classical Arabic Literature and For Lust of Knowing. His latest book, Memoirs of a Dervish: Sufis, Mystics and the Sixties, is out this month in the UK.

For the Guardian he named a top ten list of quest narratives. One book on the list:
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

First published in 1922, Hesse's slender novel chronicled the quest of the Brahmin Siddhartha to conquer suffering and fear. His path was not straightforward, for asceticism and meditation did not of themselves bring fulfilment. It was necessary for him to abandon the ascetic way and immerse himself in the worlds of money and sex in order to fully understand what it is to be human. Only after many years was he truly able to renounce the world and find ultimate fulfilment toiling as a simple ferryman.
Read about another novel on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue