By Ihab Hassan
An invitation to voyage east leads Ihab Hassan to mirror on his origins in Egypt, on his domestic in the US, and on his host state, Japan. half memoir, half cultural conception, Between the Eagle and the Sun documents a trip, echoing the "wanderers of eternity." the result's now not a ebook approximately "them," a few alien humans residing on a far off island, yet quite a e-book concerning the writer himself, residing between others, residing and seeing himself occasionally as one other, assaying constantly to learn the hieroglyphs of his prior within the scripts of Japan.
Lucid because it is very felt, right away lyrical and important, the paintings deals a beguiling imaginative and prescient of Japan and, by way of tacit distinction, of the US. For writing, the writer says, is greater than compliment or blame, it's also wisdom, empathy, and enjoyment. those attributes are glaring in Hassan's therapy of jap tradition, its humans and scenes. certainly, the folk, rendered in bright graphics through the publication, abide whilst the entire shadows of romance and exasperation have fled.
True to its second, the paintings additionally reinvests the varieties of memoir, commute, and quest. Cultural essays, trip anecdotes, autobiographical meditations, photographs of eastern acquaintances, a bit titled "Entries, A to Z," healthy right into a tight body, with transparent transitions from one part to a different. the fashion, even if, alters subtly to fit subject, celebration, and mood.
Japan would possibly not carry the most important to this planet's destiny; no unmarried kingdom does. but the ongoing curiosity in its historical past, society, and folks and the incresed knowledge of its fresh tendencies and transforming into international effect interact an increasing viewers. keeping off cliches, sympathetic to its topic but analytical, unflinching in judgment, and withal hugely own, Between the Eagle and the Sun bargains a distinct photograph of its topic by way of a amazing and well-traveled critic, at domestic in different cultures.
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Between the Eagle and the Sun: Traces of Japan by Ihab Hassan