By Eugene Fromentin
Among Sea and Sahara is among the nice classics of travel-writing in regards to the heart East. Fromentin's masterpiece is an emblem of 19th century Europe's fascination with the Orient and a story of ardour and experience set in Algeria within the 3rd decade of French colonization. this can be a compelling eyewitness account of the rustic and its humans, wondering France's--and his own--presence there. In his wish to catch the essence of this global on paper in addition to canvas, Fromentin finds a lot in regards to the roots of this colonial dating, the repercussions of that may nonetheless be felt at the present time.
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Additional resources for Between Sea and Sahara: An Orientalist Adventure
One palm tree —you know it—hangs on. It’s still there. Its base is cemented over, dishonoring it and yet not preventing it from dying. The broad fan of the tree has no new green growth. Black smoke whirls about its fruitless top; the cold rain of the hard winters has curled its spiky leafage. It resembles the people who planted it. It’s cheerless yet carries on and may survive them. The traﬃc increases, leading you to expect a city. Here ’s the Oﬃce of Arab Aﬀairs, which is an old Turkish structure, all white and very picturesque.
They’re very proud and erect as if manipulating prize horses. They hug the painful ﬂanks of the donkey with their too long legs. They only have to extend a foot grazing the ground or lift it up so as to be alternatively walking or riding. They enjoy themselves in crushing with their bulk these small brave creatures. At the slightest cry, the slightest signal, the whole bunch spurts ahead in a straight line, ears ﬂattened, with the hurried, sharp noise of a herd of sheep on the run. At last you can see, though unclearly through a cloud of dust that is aﬂame with the direct rays of the morning sun, the entrance to Algiers, still called Bab-Azoun in memory of the long torn-down gate.
The ﬁrst thing of any height to be seen is old Mount Atlas; then the top of Bouzareah, which is nearer, appears; and ﬁnally Algiers, a whitish triangle set on a green plateau. Precisely at noon as the navy cannon were sounding, the ship’s anchor was lowered. It was hot. The wind was no longer blowing; the sea was of a dark blue, the sky clear and deeply colored, and there was an odor of benjamin. I recognized this charming city by its odor. An hour later I was going along the road to Mustapha—chance had had me run into Slimen, my old coachman, at the entrance to the docks.
Between Sea and Sahara: An Orientalist Adventure by Eugene Fromentin