April 9th—May 7th 2016
Join us for the #litgeeks reading of The Saddlebag by Bahiyyih Nakhjavani
“The Uigur’s eyes were bright and keen, but he had difficulty reading the fine script on that delicate paper. The noonday sun was beating down on the page and it blazed before him, blinding him momentarily. He could hardly make it out. It was written as if at a great speed, without the dots. And yet it seemed to be one enigmatic dot. The words ran into one another, equivocal. They told him the path is straight and the way is narrow even while it is more spacious than the heavens and the earth and all that lies between them. It told him that the primal point was the beginning and the end; the centre and the circumference of the heavens and the earth and all that lies between them. He did not understand.”
First published in 2001, The Saddlebag by Iranian-British author Bahiyyih Nakhjavani is one story that is nine stories, nine stories that are one story. Nine characters encounter each other and the contents of mysterious saddlebag on Pilgrimage to the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina. A contemporary Canterbury Tales, each story resonates with joy, sorrow, life, death, and the ever changing face of the Divine. The Thief, the Bride, the Chieftain, the Moneychanger, the Slave, the Pilgrim, the Priest, the Dervish, and the Corpse. These nine souls—different races, stations, religions and backgrounds—gravitate, unbeknownst to them, towards a single, primal point.
The Saddlebag is #litgeeks third book together. In this reading we will explore themes like:
- Visionary and peak experiences
- Personal life altering Events
- Comparative religion
- Babism/The Baha’i Faith
- Middle Eastern and Persian history
- The power of the Word, or Logos
- Planetary civilization
- And much more…
Bahiyyih Nakhjavani’s poetic prose is a continuation of the Persian tradition of using lush, mystical imagery to awaken the soul. We hope you will join us as we take a journey inward with The Saddlebag.
Our reading schedule runs from April 9th—May 7th.
We will be discussing the book together on our discussion platform, Infinite Conversations, as well as a series of two live Google Hangouts, scheduled for:
- April 15th 8 pm EST / 5 pm PST — Opening Hangout
- May 6th 8 pm EST / 5 pm PST — Closing Hangout
Participation is free. We are organizing this book club in the spirit of what we’re calling social poetics, which is the idea that we can create beauty, meaning, and positive change together through the artistry of our intelligent interactions.