A Question of Precedence: and other Middle East Stories by Marmaduke Pickthall (Marmaduke Pickthall William)(Paperback)

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Pickthall is a wonderful storyteller. He brings us straight into the narrative, with sharply drawn personalities, dealing with dilemmas to which we can relate. He builds a picture of the physical environment - buildings, flowers, the landscape - that is convincing. His central characters may be rogues and cheats, religious fanatics, bandits or hypocrites, but they are all drawn as the result of acute observation. We see the world from the perspective of an Egyptian soldier, a Syrian peasant, an Ottoman official.His use of language is remarkable. In his Middle East fiction, novels and stories, he uses an archaic English, comprehensible but unfamiliar. It is as if the world he is reproducing is alien, and needs to be clothed in words and phrases that take the reader right away from his or her world.The lands in which Pickthall's stories are set, have since his time,

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