Item description for The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan by James Morier George N. Curzon...
1925. Whenever Hajji Baba traveled with the English, he observed them record their observations in books; and when they return home, thus make their fellow countrymen acquainted with the most distant regions of the globe. As a Persian, Hajji Baba followed their example; and during the period of his residence at Constantinople, he passed his time writing a detailed history of his life, which, although that of a very obscure and ordinary individual, is still so full of vicissitude and adventure that he thinks it would not fail to create an interest if published in Europe. This is his story.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.96" Width: 6.04" Height: 1.36" Weight: 1.93 lbs.
Publisher Simon Publications
ISBN 1931541124 ISBN13 9781931541121
Availability 80 units. Availability accurate as of May 30, 2017 09:15.
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Reviews - What do customers think about The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan?
Entertaining Mar 25, 2005
Very entertaining book, though it took me some pages to get into the sonorous style of writing. Written in 1824, Morier, an Englishman who had spent much time in Persia (Iran), writes from the viewpoint, in 1st person narrative, of Hajji Baba, his life from the beginning til he is probably in his 30's somewhere. I wonder if present-day Iranis are anything like the Persians of only 200 years ago. Amazingly, Morier presents their life as basically unchanged from Biblical times. And Hajji is somewhat like the hero of "The Adventurer" and "The Wanderer" by Mika Waltari, prideful, boastful, with more than his share of vanity, and a whole lot to learn. I do know that poetry is still extremely important in the lives of Iranis, as it was then. I have managed to get ahold of the sequel "The Adventures of Hajji Baba in England", in which Morier pits English customs against those of Persia, poles apart. It is amusing, and I do not think unduely slanted towards the English at all. Just a clash of cultures, nobody right, nobody wrong.
Peripatetic Persian's Picaresque Peregrinations Jan 29, 2005
The son of an Isfahan barber leads an exciting life of endless adventure, a total rollercoaster existence in which his fortunes rise and fall like a wood chip on the waves of Fate. Written by an English diplomat in 1824, HAJJI BABA reminded me more than a little of such 18th century British classics as "Tom Jones", "Moll Flanders", or "The Vicar of Wakefield" in that it is composed of a very large series of picaresque tales full of deus ex machinas, lucky breaks and unbelievable encounters. Oh, yeah, not to mention fortuitous flipflops of Fate. Hajji Baba proves a thief, bandit, pimp, quack, adulterator of goods, forger of signatures, petty tyrant, liar, imposter, show-off, suspected murderer, dreamer, schemer, and always a shlemazl, full of false piety, fake sincerity and an opportunist to the nth degree. I might have left out the traits portrayed in one or two incidents here because this dude had a genius for shooting himself in the foot. Frankly, his love life was a disaster. Despite all this, I enjoyed the book as a kind of colorful old tale, written in the highly stilted and stylized language of several yesteryears before the last !
What you should under no circumstances think is that this story bears more than the slightest relationship to anything Persian, anything to do with the nation of Iran. With this in mind, you can sit back and enjoy a rollicking British tale. It is, as others have pointed out, a prime example of "Orientalism"---a style or an intellectual current in which Westerners stereotype Orientals (particularly, in Edward Said's writing, those of the Muslim world) as all similar, unscrupulous, dirty, ignorant of truth and lacking strong character, and certainly in need of a `strong, guiding hand' which would no doubt be available from Europe (or---let's see---where else ?). Such writings provided the underpinnings of colonialism and are, sadly, far from dead, although in different guises now. By placing his picaresque tale in Persia, Morier could exhibit his knowledge of certain customs, dress, food, and bits of vocabulary while titillating contemporary English readers with glimpses of harem life as he (and they) imagined it. The last chapters make indirect fun of Persians by showing their ignorance of Europe, while "we", the more worldly wise readers, "know" the Persians thanks to having read this novel. Morier thereby set up the backdrop for his next book, in which Hajji Baba visits England. My edition came with a large number of Orientalist illustrations too, brimming with "the exotic" or more bluntly put, the phoney. But you don't have to throw the baby out with the bathwater. This is adventure, 18th century style. If that intrigues you, give HAJJI BABA a try.
I bought this book over 40 years ago in Ithaca, New York, but never got around to reading it till now. I wonder what I would have thought of it then.
Very readable & enjoyable Jul 22, 2001
I found this book to be an excellent read! It's got subtle humor, adventure, romance, rags-to-riches-to-rags-and-back-again...if Sinbad had a distant cousin on the wrong side of the tracks, it would be Hajji Baba of Ispahan. This book, according to the intro, has a SEQUEL which covers Hajji's trip to England, but I haven't seen sign of it anywhere. Do yourself a favour and read this book.
The Best Book Out of Print May 26, 2000
Hajji Baba may be the best book out of print. It's one of those unique, authentic, hilarious books like My Family and Other Animals.
HAJJI BABA OF ISPAHAN is a great book, but not quick. Oct 31, 1996
An excellent long, slow read. If you want to have a good idea of how the Persian mind works this is a superb window into the basics of life and philosophy of these people. It is always a great idea to know more about other people. The informed "neighbor" is the safe one.
Sincerely, Cynthia Tannehill Faulk, L.E.C.A
Earl R. Hunt & Assoc.,Inc.