The Alhambra Read & Download Ð 7

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The Alhambra written by author Washington Irving is a collection of tales and essays which he wrote during his residence in the Alhambra The writings are based largely based on notes and observations m. 910I understand now why this Alhambra book is sold at every news stand and souvenir boutiue in the city of Granada translated in every major tourist language Washington Irving account of his visit to the palatial complex around 1830 is almost single handedly responsible for reviving interest in the almost ruined 'pile' of masonry in its chivalrous histories and spooky legends It is both a blessing and curse A blessing because it allowed the palace to be restored and maintained A curse because it marks the start of the 'tourist' age of the Western World turning its eye towards the monuments of the past and turning them into profitable enterprises and robbing the natives Greeks Egyptians etc of their cultural artefacts as a side venture Reading through the essays and journal entries the first sentiment I experienced is one of envy Mr Irving had the whole palace to himself for a months long visit sleeping in the royal chambers strolling through the gardens under the moonlight taking his lunches by the lions fountain daydreaming about warrior kings and Arabian princesses secluded in ancient towers I had to share my visit with a few thousand fellow tourists always pushed from behind to make room for the next batch waiting in vain for long minutes to capture an image of the arabesues on the walls without anyone photobombing me always with with an eye on the clock to see how much I have left before the closing time Even so the place worked its magic on me its poetry written in intricate stone paterns slim collonades and airy halls everywhere accompanied by the sussuration of water from alabaster fountains A visit to the Alhambra is not complete in my opinion without Mr Irving's book in the pocket retracing his steps in the gardens of Generalife or gazing out El Mirador de LindarajaThe book starts with a chapter on Andaluzia the southernmost province of Spain and the one that remained longest under Moorish occupation As Irving journeys towards the fabled palace of the Nasrid caliphs we get the first taste of his romantic sensibilities of his extensive research into past events for the places in his path of his keen observations of present people and their customs of his amiable sense of humour Here's a passage that explains the Arab passion for water Many are apt to picture Spain to their imaginations as a soft southern region decked out with the luxuriant charms of voluptuous Italy On the contrary though there are exceptions in some of the maritime provinces yet for the greater part it is a stern melancholy country with rugged mountains and long sweeping plains destitute of trees and indescribably silent and lonesome partaking of the savage and solitary character of Africa As a proto professional tourist and guide book writer Irving is not fussy about food or accommodation makes easy friends with the locals and is genuinely interested in everything around him Let others repine at the lack of turnpike roads and sumptuous hotels and all the elaborate comforts of a country cultivated and civilized into tameness and commonplace; but give me the rude mountain scramble; the roving haphazard wayfaring; the half wild yet frank and hospitable manners which impart such a true game flavor to dear old romantic Spain Once he gets to his destination it is love at first sight for Irving discovering the delicate arabesues hidden behind stern exterior walls He decides on the spot to extend his visit and is enthusiastic when he is offered residence inside the palace grounds To the traveller imbued with a feeling for the historical and poetical so inseparably intertwined in the annals of romantic Spain the Alhambra is as much an object of devotion as is the Caaba to all true Moslems History and poetry is what it comes down to for the rest of the book often the whimsical fancy of the author is difficult to discern form the historical accurate fact Irving the scholar who reads carefully through dusty archives is inseparable from Irvin

review The Alhambra

The AlhambraAde and care was taken to maintain local coloring to present a faithful and living picture of that microcosm which the world outside of the Alhambra has largely had an imperfect idea of This is an exce. To the traveler imbued with a feeling for the historical and poetical so inseparably intertwined in the annals of romantic Spain the Alhambra is as much an object of devotion as is the Caaba to all true Moslems The name “Washington Irving” has haunted me since I was a boy I went to a school named after him We visited his beautiful house Sunnyside on a field trip My childhood home is just 500 feet from Irving’s grave in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery—uite a modest grave My high school football team were the Headless HorsemenSo imagine how it felt after moving across an ocean to see the name “Washington Irving” hanging above a door in the Alhambra “Washington Irving wrote in this room his Tales of the Alhambra” It was as if some circuit had been closed some cycle had been completed I’d spent the previous week racing through the book in preparation for my visit And now here I was face to face with the same literary giant who hung over my childhood who had also managed to cast his spell over this magnificent palace That’s my tale; what of the book The Tales of the Alhambra is something of a hodgepodge It begins as a travelogue and ends as a collection of fables In 1829 Irving travelled from Seville to Granada apparently out of simple curiosity Once he arrived he fell under the enchanting influence of the Alhambra and ended up residing there for several months At the time the Alhambra was in a sorry state Several centuries of vandalism and neglect had reduced it to a ruin and dozens of poor suatters were its only residents Probably its derelict condition added to the romantic wonder with which Irving beheld it The book is written in a high flown almost mystical tone with fact and fantasy woven into a vibrant fabric His own observations and experiences are interspersed with historical sketches and old legends which he purports to have learned from the residents The final impression is of supernatural beauty If you’ve seen the Alhambra this is forgivable; it’s hard to exaggerate its splendor As Warwick points out Irving is most fascinated with the Moors of Spain The fact that a people with enough culture and power to create the Alhambra could totally vanish beguiles him Who were they How did they live His vigorous imagination fills in the continent sized gaps in his knowledge allowing his fancy to run rampant It’s obvious that he considers the lost civilization of the Moors to be a kind of forgotten paradise; he has nothing but praise for the nobility and sophistication of Spain’s erstwhile inhabitants While he stayed there he grasped at whatever trace of this civilization remained in architecture history and in the people Irving does his best to convince himself and the reader that the monumental dignity of the Moors of Spain can be seen still in the Spanish peasants of Andalusia He praises these people almost as highly as their predecessors saying “with all their faults and they are many the Spaniards even at the present day are on many points the most high minded and proud spirited people of Europe” The book is enjoyable in short doses but gets tiresome in big chunks Irving’s tone though compelling is monotonous You can only tolerate breathless wonder for so long without craving something else His stories too are uite repetitive Hidden treasures enchanted warriors princesses in castles forbidden love between Christians and Muslims—these make an appearance in nearly every tale Still this book is well worth reading not only because Irving is a skillful and charming writer but also because it's a window into the cultural history of the Alhambra how it has been interpreted and understood by Western writers For me of course this book has a personal significance that extends beyond the boundaries of its pages Irving’s stories may not have been real but his name is real enough which for me has taken on the semblance of a ghost As for you I hope you too get a chance to read this book

Washington Irving Õ 7 Free read

The Alhambra Read & Download Ð 7 Õ The Alhambra written by author Washington Irving is a collection of tales and essays which he wrote during his residence in the Alhambra The writings are based largely based on notes and observations made and care was taken to maintain local coloring to present a faithful and living picture of that microcosm whichLlent publication of writings by Washington Irving and had been very popular among fans of his writings and also for those interested in his work from produced during the time of his stay at the Alhamb. Adding this book to my reading list after seeing Fanny Thornton gushing about it in North South to Margaret Hale