[ilds] FW: ILDS Digest, Vol 86, Issue 16_Architecture in Alexandria and Cairo

Sumantra Nag sumantranag at gmail.com
Mon Jun 23 00:00:15 PDT 2014


Marc and Merriane,

Noted your references with interest:

1. Cairo: 1001 Years of the City Victorious 

2. Nihal Tamraz, Nineteenth-Century Cairene Houses and Palaces (American
University in Cairo Press, 1998) ? Which includes parallels to the ?tower?
of Durrell?s villa.

3. Le Caire ? Alexandrie architectures europ?ennes (Institut Fran?ais
d?Arch?ologie Orientale, 2001)

4. Cynthia Myntt, Paris Along the Nile: Architecture in Cairo from the Belle
Epoque (American University I Cairo Press, 2003)

5. "Alexandrie l'Egyptienne" by Carlos Freire with photos by Robert Sol?
published by STOCK in 1998

These are interesting references which can expand the visual dimensions of
Alexandria and Cairo in history. As  student of the architecture of Cairo
and Alexandria, Merriane could have something to say about the highly visual
creation of Alexandria by Lawrence Durrell.

I don't read French, but have been an avid reader of Proust in the English
translation. 

Incidentally the Alexandria Quartet - or perhaps just Justine - was
described by one reviewer as a "French novel". Can't recall the source I'm
afraid, but such observations tend to remain in the memory because they have
a significant message. There is a distinction here between the flavour  (if
one can use that term) of a French novel and an English novel. But surely
there has been a cross-fertilization of influences between modern French and
English writers . English novelists have been influenced by Proust, and
Proust was influenced by Ruskin, and probably Dickens. 

But it would be interesting to note any opinions about the French 'flavour'
of the novels of the AQ. The French and European influences through
architecture and presence in Alexandria all come together in the city which
has been recreated in a particular way by Durrell in his novels.

Regards 

Sumantra


Message: 1
Date: Sat, 21 Jun 2014 14:26:13 -0500
From: "Merrianne" <timlot at comcast.net>
To: <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>
Subject: Re: [ilds] A Great Unrecorded History: A New Life of E.M.
	FORSTER	by Wendy Moffat, PICADOR, New York, 2010
Message-ID: <003c01cf8d86$c7946900$56bd3b00$@comcast.net>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

I would suggest distinguishing between khedival and colonial when focusing
on Alexandria and Cairo. What can be attributed to the modernization of
Egypt by Muhammed Ali and Ismail during the 19th century versus ?colonial?
rule of the British. I was fortunate to study the architecture of Cairo and
Alexandria back in the early 70s, and this was the distinction that my
professors made at the American University in Cairo. Durrell would have
lived in both the khedival and colonial worlds of Egypt.

 

>From its founding by Alexander the Great, Alexandria was a city. It may
have been annexed into empires as a province, but it always retained its
identity and cosmopolitan nature. 

 

Merrianne

 

From: ILDS [mailto:ilds-bounces at lists.uvic.ca] On Behalf Of Lee Sternthal
Sent: Saturday, June 21, 2014 1:45 PM
To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
Subject: Re: [ilds] A Great Unrecorded History: A New Life of E.M. FORSTER
by Wendy Moffat, PICADOR, New York, 2010

 

Yeah, it's been a while since I read the post and my memory isn't what it
used to be for details.  In any case, here's Haag's post.  I recall it being
fascinating reading.  

 

http://michaelhaag.blogspot.com/2013/09/lawrence-durrells-house-in-alexandri
a.html


On Jun 21, 2014, at 11:08 AM, Odos <odos.fanourios at gmail.com
<mailto:odos.fanourios at gmail.com> > wrote:

To the best of my knowledge, the Villa Ambron is still standing but slated
for demolition -- Haag may have more current information.  Durrell wrote
early drafts of the Quartet materials (Book of the Dead) there as well as
preparing Prospero's Cell, though The Black Book was finished in 1937 only
two years after his arrival on Corfu.  I sometimes wonder what it means to
read Panic Spring and The Black Book as works written in an overlapping
period -- the style varies enormously, but the concerns are remarkably
similar in many respects, just a bit more difficult to notice.

 

As for colonial legacies, I think both perspective need to be acknowledged.
Razing history doesn't erase its legacy, and Alexandria certainly has a
unique "colonial" history given the age and origins of the city.  That said,
we recently held OMG XVIII on unceded Coast Salish territories, and I try to
be very mindful of the fact that the terrain I inhabit (and which my family
has inhabited for 166 years now) is very much colonial, and the growth of
the colony comes very much at the expense of indigenous sites, terrains,
practices, and attempts at restoration and restitution.

 

Then again, the Vancouver I grew up in was cement, stone, and grey -- the
Vancouver I live in today is steel and glass, and that's a reflection of
another wave of immigration that some colonials resent...  As Haag hastens
to point out, the colonial sites are also often the most cosmopolitan, and
the injustice of history doesn't make it go away.

 

All best,

James


Sent from my iPad

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Message: 2
Date: Sat, 21 Jun 2014 13:35:59 -0700
From: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
Cc: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
Subject: Re: [ilds] A Great Unrecorded History: A New Life of E.M.
	FORSTER	by Wendy Moffat, PICADOR, New York, 2010
Message-ID: <F8EAEB14-9EB3-43E6-8FEE-4004CE5EF815 at earthlink.net>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="windows-1252"

Yes.  A useful distinction.  Thanks.  "Colonial" nowadays has highly
pejorative connotations and generally applies to Western colonial empires
(British, French, Belgian, German, Italian, and so on), as I understand the
usage.  The Ambron family built the villa on rue Maamoun.  I believe the
architecture is Venetian and could be attributed to or influenced by the
Italian architect Alessandro Loria (architect of Hotel Cecil), who was
Jewish.  But I'm guessing.  Since the Ambron family was Jewish, I'm also
guessing that part of the problem of preserving the "colonial" architecture
of Alexandria is its Jewish connections.  Nasser's policy in Egypt was to
eradicate Egypt's great Jewish heritage.  Hence the diaspora of Egyptians
Jews since 1952 (read Aciman's Out of Egypt).  Dr. Mohamed Awad, an
architect and historian, is trying to save "old Alexandria," inclucing
"colonial Alex," but that's not a popular endeavor in today's Egypt.
Erasing material culture may not "erase history!
 ," but it sure comes close.  So I'm thankful for Durrell's and Haag's
Alexandrias ? which keep the cultural memory alive.

Bruce



On Jun 21, 2014, at 12:26 PM, Merrianne <timlot at comcast.net> wrote:

> I would suggest distinguishing between khedival and colonial when focusing
on Alexandria and Cairo. What can be attributed to the modernization of
Egypt by Muhammed Ali and Ismail during the 19thcentury versus ?colonial?
rule of the British. I was fortunate to study the architecture of Cairo and
Alexandria back in the early 70s, and this was the distinction that my
professors made at the American University in Cairo. Durrell would have
lived in both the khedival and colonial worlds of Egypt.
>  
> From its founding by Alexander the Great, Alexandria was a city. It may
have been annexed into empires as a province, but it always retained its
identity and cosmopolitan nature.
>  
> Merrianne
>  
> 
------------------------------

Message: 3
Date: Sun, 22 Jun 2014 13:23:58 +0530
From: "Sumantra Nag" <sumantranag at gmail.com>
To: <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>
Cc: james.d.gifford at gmail.com, bredwine1968 at earthlink.net,
	sunrisedriven at gmail.com
Subject: Re: [ilds] ILDS Digest, Vol 86, Issue 15_A New Life of E.M.
	FORSTER
Message-ID: <003001cf8def$22d09970$6871cc50$@gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

I possess a copy of Michael Haag's 'Alexandria: City of Memory' which I have
read. I got Wendy Moffat's book recently  from a library in Delhi and read
the chapter on Forster's years in Alexandria.

 

I found the account in Wendy Moffat's book quite detailed and evocative, for
instance, while describing Cavafy in his dwellings. It was some time since I
read Michael Haag's book, but I thought Moffat provided a very detailed
account of Forster's life in Alexandria and his relationships in the city,
not all of which is described quite so closely in Haag's book. That is
probably natural, since Moffat's book deals only with Forster and
particularly with his sexuality.

 

Sumantra

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Message: 4
Date: Sun, 22 Jun 2014 10:59:00 -0500
From: "Merrianne" <timlot at comcast.net>
To: <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>
Subject: Re: [ilds] A Great Unrecorded History: A New Life of	E.M.
	FORSTER	by Wendy Moffat, PICADOR, New York, 2010
Message-ID: <001d01cf8e32$e2ea0410$a8be0c30$@comcast.net>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

This morning, I looked at the textbook we used for our urban development and
history course taught by Janet Abu-Lughod at AUC. You can read a short bio
for her on Wikipedia. Abu-Lughod?s book Cairo: 1001 Years of the City
Victorious was a groundbreaking work on the subject of Cairo?s evolution
(and indirectly that of Alexandria).

 

I don?t see any reference in her book to British in association with the
word ?colonial.? She refers to the British in the context of ?occupation.? 

In addition, she provides an excellent overview regarding the khedivial
reform of Egypt, with its various French interludes, including the Parisian
architectural fabric of Cairo and Alexandria. If anyone is interested in
serious research regarding the architecture of the late 19th/early 20th
century, I recommend three works that I purchased in Egypt, but probably
obtainable via ILL:

Nihal Tamraz, Nineteenth-Century Cairene Houses and Palaces (American
University in Cairo Press, 1998) ? Which includes parallels to the ?tower?
of Durrell?s villa.

Le Caire ? Alexandrie architectures europ?ennes (Institut Fran?ais
d?Arch?ologie Orientale, 2001)

Cynthia Myntt, Paris Along the Nile: Architecture in Cairo from the Belle
Epoque (American University I Cairo Press, 2003)

I haven?t had a chance to check to see if Michael Haag cites these works,
but I am sure he is familiar with them.

In addition, you might wish to investigate the website of the organization
ASTENE (Association of the Study of the Ancient Near East and Egypt). I?ve
been a member for years, and I believe their newsletters are available on
their website.

In addition, the old Tour Egypt website includes some interesting info on
classic architecture of Cairo and Alexandria that Durrell would have been
familiar with (in addition to some info on Durrell, I believe). This link
(to one of my favorite hotels in Egypt will get you to the website ?
http://www.touregypt.net/egypt-info/magazine-mag09012000-mag8a.htm

 

Merrianne

 
Message: 5
Date: Sun, 22 Jun 2014 19:14:28 +0200
From: Marc Piel <marc at marcpiel.fr>
To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
Subject: Re: [ilds] A Great Unrecorded History: A New Life of E.M.
	FORSTER by Wendy Moffat, PICADOR, New York, 2010
Message-ID: <53A70EF4.4000200 at marcpiel.fr>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"; Format="flowed"

Hi Merrianne,
There is another book on Alexandria that is very good:
"Alexandrie l'Egyptienne" by Carlos Freire with photos by Robert Sol?
published by STOCK in 1998, in which there are lots of photos of places
mentioned in the AQ.
Regards,
Marc Piel

Le 22/06/14 17:59, Merrianne a ?crit :
>
> This morning, I looked at the textbook we used for our urban 
> development and history course taught by Janet Abu-Lughod at AUC. You 
> can read a short bio for her on Wikipedia. Abu-Lughod's book Cairo:
> 1001 Years of the City Victorious was a groundbreaking work on the 
> subject of Cairo's evolution (and indirectly that of Alexandria).
>
> I don't see any reference in her book to British in association with 
> the word "colonial." She refers to the British in the context of 
> "occupation."
>
> In addition, she provides an excellent overview regarding the 
> khedivial reform of Egypt, with its various French interludes, 
> including the Parisian architectural fabric of Cairo and Alexandria.
> If anyone is interested in serious research regarding the architecture 
> of the late 19^th /early 20^th century, I recommend three works that I 
> purchased in Egypt, but probably obtainable via ILL:
>
> Nihal Tamraz, /Nineteenth-Century Cairene Houses and Palaces/ 
> (American University in Cairo Press, 1998) -- Which includes parallels 
> to the "tower" of Durrell's villa.
>
> /Le Caire -- Alexandrie architectures europ?ennes/(Institut Fran?ais 
> d'Arch?ologie Orientale, 2001)
>
> Cynthia Myntt, /Paris Along the Nile: 
> Architecture in Cairo from the Belle Epoque /(American University I 
> Cairo Press, 2003)
>
> I haven't had a chance to check to see if Michael Haag cites these 
> works, but I am sure he is familiar with them.
>
> In addition, you might wish to investigate the website of the 
> organization ASTENE (Association of the Study of the Ancient Near East 
> and Egypt). I've been a member for years, and I believe their 
> newsletters are available on their website.
>
> In addition, the old Tour Egypt website includes some interesting info 
> on classic architecture of Cairo and Alexandria that Durrell would 
> have been familiar with (in addition to some info on Durrell, I 
> believe). This link (to one of my favorite hotels in Egypt will get 
> you to the website ...
> http://www.touregypt.net/egypt-info/magazine-mag09012000-mag8a.htm
>
> Merrianne
>
Message: 6
Date: Sun, 22 Jun 2014 12:55:35 -0500
From: "Merrianne" <timlot at comcast.net>
To: <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>
Subject: Re: [ilds] A Great Unrecorded History: A New Life of E.M.
	FORSTER	by Wendy Moffat, PICADOR, New York, 2010
Message-ID: <002e01cf8e43$2c157330$84405990$@comcast.net>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

Dear Marc,

 

Thank you for the reference. I?ve already placed it in my Abe Books shopping
cart.

 

As you like photographs, you are probably familiar with the French museums?
site Joconde.    http://www.culture.gouv.fr/public/mistral/joconde_fr
Several months ago, I discovered the early 20th century black and white
photographs by Carle Naudot of the Camargue, southern France, etc. that can
be retrieved by using the search feature on this website, which is a
consortium of numerous regional French museums. This being summer, it is fun
to search on Arles, Avignon, etc. and pull up various works associated or
depicting these places.

 

Best,

Merrianne
 

From: ILDS [mailto:ilds-bounces at lists.uvic.ca] On Behalf Of Marc Piel
Sent: Sunday, June 22, 2014 12:14 PM
To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
Subject: Re: [ilds] A Great Unrecorded History: A New Life of E.M. FORSTER
by Wendy Moffat, PICADOR, New York, 2010

Hi Merrianne,
There is another book on Alexandria that is very good:
"Alexandrie l'Egyptienne" by Carlos Freire with photos by Robert Sol?
published by STOCK in 1998, in which there are lots of photos of places
mentioned in the AQ.
Regards,
Marc Piel

Le 22/06/14 17:59, Merrianne a ?crit :

This morning, I looked at the textbook we used for our urban development and
history course taught by Janet Abu-Lughod at AUC. You can read a short bio
for her on Wikipedia. Abu-Lughod?s book Cairo: 1001 Years of the City
Victorious was a groundbreaking work on the subject of Cairo?s evolution
(and indirectly that of Alexandria).

I don?t see any reference in her book to British in association with the
word ?colonial.? She refers to the British in the context of ?occupation.? 

In addition, she provides an excellent overview regarding the khedivial
reform of Egypt, with its various French interludes, including the Parisian
architectural fabric of Cairo and Alexandria. If anyone is interested in
serious research regarding the architecture of the late 19th/early 20th
century, I recommend three works that I purchased in Egypt, but probably
obtainable via ILL:

Nihal Tamraz, Nineteenth-Century Cairene Houses and Palaces (American
University in Cairo Press, 1998) ? Which includes parallels to the ?tower?
of Durrell?s villa.

Le Caire ? Alexandrie architectures europ?ennes (Institut Fran?ais
d?Arch?ologie Orientale, 2001)

Cynthia Myntt, Paris Along the Nile: Architecture in Cairo from the Belle
Epoque (American University I Cairo Press, 2003)

I haven?t had a chance to check to see if Michael Haag cites these works,
but I am sure he is familiar with them.

In addition, you might wish to investigate the website of the organization
ASTENE (Association of the Study of the Ancient Near East and Egypt). I?ve
been a member for years, and I believe their newsletters are available on
their website.

In addition, the old Tour Egypt website includes some interesting info on
classic architecture of Cairo and Alexandria that Durrell would have been
familiar with (in addition to some info on Durrell, I believe). This link
(to one of my favorite hotels in Egypt will get you to the website ?
http://www.touregypt.net/egypt-info/magazine-mag09012000-mag8a.htm

Merrianne

 



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