Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Khivan music & Mesopotamian cats

When I first started reading One Hundred Thousand Fools of God it seemed entirely possibly that I might get to visit Uzbekistan or Tajikistan and hear some of the music that Theodore Levin writes about for myself. In particular, I wanted to visit Khiva -- and I've been reading everything Central Asian that I can get my hands on to learn more about the swirling mixture of cultures, languages, stories and styles that pattern the area known as "the Silk Road". Seems unlikely in the current political climate that I'll be holidaying in Tashkent any time soon. Perhaps that's why it's taken me so long to read the book? Nearly a year now… It has sticky notes on several pages, marking I don't know what - I just have a vague impression of mountains and lots of vodka drinking, as well as several pages of musicology that I just skipped over. It did lead me to the incredible Sevara Nazarkan, one of the most alarming and beautiful wake-up CDs I own. But man, it's slow going. I pride myself on being able to toss off a new Judith Butler book in a couple hours (as I'll have to tomorrow, writing up her latest opus for the Women's Bookstore monthly new books list.
Haha! Into which I will sneak in a review of The Outlaw Varjak Paw -- second only to the release of "Serenity" for excitement in my world this autumn! Cats, martial arts, Gothic urban landscapes, bravery, power struggles, creepy towers, juicy fish and some very loyal dogs… this book has it all. Except for throat singers. Perhaps in the next one?

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