Amitav Ghosh: In an Antique Land

(1372 words)
  • John Thieme (University of East Anglia)

At first sight In An Antique Land (1992) appears to be both generically and thematically different from Ghosh's two preceding works, the novels The Circle of Reason and The Shadow Lines. An apparently factual “history in the guise of a traveller's tale” (the sub-title of one of the editions of the text), it moves between two narratives. The more extensive is ostensibly a travel-book, in which a Ghosh persona, engaged in anthropological research in Egypt, describes his experiences living in a fellaheen village. In the shorter narrative, a version of which has also been published in Subaltern Studies as “The Slave of MS. H. 6”, the persona pursues the fugitive traces of the “slave” of a twelfth-…

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Thieme, John. "In an Antique Land". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 March 2003
[, accessed 04 July 2015.]

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