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 nation, Japan. half memoir, half cultural conception, Between the Eagle and the Sun files a trip, echoing the "wanderers of eternity." the result's now not a ebook approximately "them," a few alien humans dwelling on a far off island, yet quite a booklet concerning the writer himself, dwelling between others, dwelling and seeing himself occasionally as one other, assaying continually to learn the hieroglyphs of his earlier within the scripts of Japan.
Lucid because it is very felt, immediately lyrical and demanding, the paintings bargains a beguiling imaginative and prescient of Japan and, through 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 eastern tradition, its humans and scenes. certainly, the folk, rendered in vivid pictures through the booklet, abide while all of the shadows of romance and exasperation have fled.
True to its second, the paintings additionally reinvests the sorts of memoir, shuttle, and quest. Cultural essays, commute anecdotes, autobiographical meditations, pics of jap associates, a piece titled "Entries, A to Z," healthy right into a tight body, with transparent transitions from one part to a different. the fashion, besides the fact that, alters subtly to fit subject, party, and mood.
Japan won't carry the most important to this planet's destiny; no unmarried kingdom does. but the ongoing curiosity in its background, society, and folks and the incresed knowledge of its contemporary traits and turning out to be international influence have interaction an increasing viewers. averting cliches, sympathetic to its topic but analytical, unflinching in judgment, and withal hugely own, Between the Eagle and the Sun deals a special snapshot of its topic by means of a wonderful 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