Waiting for 2018: the books of the future

At the end of the year, I like looking back at what I missed (and should not have), but also checking what to expect next. This is why I’ve decided to devote a post to the forthcoming publications about Islamic art and architecture that will be published in 2018, or at least in the first months…

2017: the books you shouldn’t have missed

End of the year: time to look back and see what you have done this 2017. Among the many things, it’s also good to think about the books that have been published and that you should not have missed. And if you have, it’s not a big deal: there is always time to buy a…

Arabia Felix: why everyone should read the story of a failure

“On a calm winter morning, on 4th January, 1761, a company of five men, clad for a journey, were rowed out from the Tollbooth into the shipping roads of Copenhagen. […] They were bound for “Happy Arabia”, but none of them seemed particularly happy at the thought”. This is how Thorkild Hansen starts his book ,…

The Making of the Islamic Heritage

Every time I start a book review I ask myself why I bought the book. In this case, I think I had been intrigued by the name, and I decided to ‘buy’ it once I realized it could be downloaded for free (legally), without me chasing the publisher to have a review copy. The full…

The story of the book: The Road to Oxiana

  The Road to Oxiana is considered Byron’s masterpiece. In the form of a travelogue, the book is an accurate reportage of the long, exotic journey of Byron and his friend Christopher Sykes. It is extremely romantic thinking of Robert Byron, on those snowy days blocked in Qala i Now, writing the diary at length, writing down…

“The Theory of Islamic Art”, by I. M. Hanash

I. M. Hanash, The Theory of Islamic Art, Aesthetic Concept and Epistemic Structure, The International Institute of Islamic Thought, London – Washington 2017. When dealing with Islamic art, it is good, from time to time, to step back, and look at the bigger picture. Going from the particular – the object studied – to the general – what…

“The Silk Roads” by Peter Frankopan

P. Frankopan, The Silk Roads. A new history of the world, Bloomsbury, London – New York 2015. ‘Greek mythology had it that Zeus, father of the gods, released two eagles, one at each end of the earth, and commanded them to fly towards each other. A sacred stone, the omphalos – the navel of the world –…

The definition of Islamic Art – sources and comments

It is quite clear that I am highly interested in the definition of Islamic Art. And of course I am not the only one. Surfing the internet it is possible to find contributions and essays (open-access) asking questions and giving old and new perspectives on an issue that is far from be settled. Recently the…

Forthcoming publications – 2015

The new year is coming, and it is time to see what we will find in the near future in our libraries about Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, with a focus on ‘medieval period’.