free read The Alhambra ´ E-book or Kindle E-pub

free read The Alhambra

free read The Alhambra ´ E-book, or Kindle E-pub É [Download] ➵ The Alhambra Author Washington Irving – The Alhambra written by author Washington Irving is a collection of tales and essays which he wrote during his residence in the Alhambra The writings are based largely based on notes and observations TAde and care was taken to maintain local coloring to present a faithful and living picture of that microcosm which the world outside of the Alhambra has largely had an imperfect idea of This is an exce. To the traveler imbued with a feeling for the historical and poetical so inseparably intertwined in the annals of romantic Spain the Alhambra is as much an object of devotion as is the Caaba to all true Moslems The name “Washington Irving” has haunted me since I was a boy I went to a school named after him We visited his beautiful house Sunnyside on a field trip My childhood home is just 500 feet from Irving’s grave in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery—uite a modest grave My high school football team were the Headless HorsemenSo imagine how it felt after moving across an ocean to see the name “Washington Irving” hanging above a door in the Alhambra “Washington Irving wrote in this room his Tales of the Alhambra” It was as if some circuit had been closed some cycle had been completed I’d spent the previous week racing through the book in preparation for my visit And now here I was face to face with the same literary giant who hung over my childhood who had also managed to cast his spell over this magnificent palace That’s my tale; what of the book The Tales of the Alhambra is something of a hodgepodge It begins as a travelogue and ends as a collection of fables In 1829 Irving travelled from Seville to Granada apparently out of simple curiosity Once he arrived he fell under the enchanting influence of the Alhambra and ended up residing there for several months At the time the Alhambra was in a sorry state Several centuries of vandalism and neglect had reduced it to a ruin and dozens of poor suatters were its only residents Probably its derelict condition added to the romantic wonder with which Irving beheld it The book is written in a high flown almost mystical tone with fact and fantasy woven into a vibrant fabric His own observations and experiences are interspersed with historical sketches and old legends which he purports to have learned from the residents The final impression is of supernatural beauty If you’ve seen the Alhambra this is forgivable; it’s hard to exaggerate its splendor As Warwick points out Irving is most fascinated with the Moors of Spain The fact that a people with enough culture and power to create the Alhambra could totally vanish beguiles him Who were they How did they live His vigorous imagination fills in the continent sized gaps in his knowledge allowing his fancy to run rampant It’s obvious that he considers the lost civilization of the Moors to be a kind of forgotten paradise; he has nothing but praise for the nobility and sophistication of Spain’s erstwhile inhabitants While he stayed there he grasped at whatever trace of this civilization remained in architecture history and in the people Irving does his best to convince himself and the reader that the monumental dignity of the Moors of Spain can be seen still in the Spanish peasants of Andalusia He praises these people almost as highly as their predecessors saying “with all their faults and they are many the Spaniards even at the present day are on many points the most high minded and proud spirited people of Europe” The book is enjoyable in short doses but gets tiresome in big chunks Irving’s tone though compelling is monotonous You can only tolerate breathless wonder for so long without craving something else His stories too are uite repetitive Hidden treasures enchanted warriors princesses in castles forbidden love between Christians and Muslims—these make an appearance in nearly every tale Still this book is well worth reading not only because Irving is a skillful and charming writer but also because it's a window into the cultural history of the Alhambra how it has been interpreted and understood by Western writers For me of course this book has a personal significance that extends beyond the boundaries of its pages Irving’s stories may not have been real but his name is real enough which for me has taken on the semblance of a ghost As for you I hope you too get a chance to read this book and to visit the Alhambra “A Moslem pile in the midst of a Christian land; an Oriental palace amidst the Gothic edifices of the West; an elegant memento of a brave intelligent and graceful people who conuered ruled flourished and passed away”

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Llent publication of writings by Washington Irving and had been very popular among fans of his writings and also for those interested in his work from produced during the time of his stay at the Alhamb. I picked up this beautiful volume on a lazy Sunday afternoon from The Strand the old one in mid town in Manhattan when I was pretending to be a lawyer in that beguiling city of tall structures and sky scapes that appeared and disappeared through the clouds and the mist Published in Granada and with multiple exuisite engravings it is a paperback but has the heft and feel of a hardback I must have browsed through it several times but never read it cover to cover for it is a book meant to be savored intermittently However I am glad that I finally read it through after I had actually visited Granada and the Alhambra as I feel that it is only then that you truly understand why Washington Irving was so enthralled by the place and why what he wrote continues to enthrall usFew experiences in my life surpass my first glimpse of Generalife or the much poetic and impactful جَنَّة الْعَرِيف‎ Jannat al ‘Arīf gardens on a late summer early morning at the Alhambra The terraced gardens with their lush hedges trellises fruit trees and water channeled courtyards overlook the palace buildings and the fort They were still unlit by the sun but far below the terraced slopes of the hill on which Alhambra perches going down to the city of Granada were awash in mellow morning sunlight As my spouse and I breathed in the fragrant air and looked upon the variety of flowers we came across a stone stairway with bannisters that had narrow runnels on the top with fresh cool water flowing down One couldn't possibly get aesthetic than this here on display was that Islamic fascination with running water in gardens of citron orange olive pomegranate cypresses myrtle and so much which is how the paradise is also imagined Washington Irving an incurable romantic and a pioneer of that movement in American literature found himself at this location in 1829 when it was even idyllic and secure from the deluge of tourists What resulted is a book someone with a romantic eye and a sense of the picturesue would truly enjoy And if you have seen the landscape and architecture he swoons over than the better He describes with loving detail the rough country that surrounds the oasis like Granada full of images of muleteers bandoleros contrabandistas and migueletes that infest the dry ravine filled rough country And then in the midst of it lays Granada with its tree lined glens dales and brooks springs and waterways And the Alhambra changing its color from yellow gold to ochre to orange to rust and pink red as the day progresses perched on its hill With exuisite detail Irving paints for us a lonely crumbling Moorish tower a beautiful part of the palace with its exuisite tiles alabaster fountains stucco work frescoes and various other architectural features and indeed the simple but charming people who dwell in this faded glory But it is not just in the realm of the physical that he roams for Irving is a great teller of local tales full of buried Moorish gold phantom armies hobgoblins enchanted Boabdil the last Moor to rule Alhambra and his enchanted army beneath the mountains surrounding Alhambra pining lovers great fantastical journeys across the gorgeous Anadalusian landscape to Seville Cordova Malaga and then further to even Toledo He has an eye for the dark eyed damsel and ear for the notes of the guitar in the perfumed evening air and a sharp wit for all types of characters representing law and authority The stories have a distinct Arabian Nights feel to them and while Irving dwells on the centuries old conflict between Moorish Islam and Iberian Christandom he is fair philosophical and ultimately an admirer of beauty and the human spirit It doesn't come therefore as a surprise that he has a barely concealed admiration for various aspects of Moorish Spain and the sense of beauty and architecture as well as engineering that its rulers beueathed to the region As a matter of fact apart from his fascination for all things Moorish throughout the book showing that a man of taste and learning has a heart capable of embracing beauty beyond parochial and prejudiced boundaries he ends the books with rich tributes to two men One is Muhamed Abu AlAhmar the founder of Alhambra and the other Yusuf Abul Hagig the Finisher of Alhambra Though some of his depiction may appear Orientalist he goes far beyond that and acknowledge just euitable and humane governance on part of many Moorish rulers as well as their great love of knowledge and superior aesthetics Part travel part lore part social and architectural observations this is a gem of a book if you are the kind of person who loves times gone by an age of chivalry and adventure a landscape of dry craggy landscapes and small paradises with groves and streams and life at a gentler romantic civilized pace

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The AlhambraThe Alhambra written by author Washington Irving is a collection of tales and essays which he wrote during his residence in the Alhambra The writings are based largely based on notes and observations m. The edition I read and have somewhere tucked away and hidden from my own greedy fingers is a lovely little book illustrated with reproductions of contemporary lithographsIn 1829 when Irving visited the Alhambra it housed a small garrison of Spanish soldiers and wasn't a major tourist destination Tourism in those days being an eccentric pass time reserved for the wealthy Irving stayed in the Alhambra itself sleeping or less where he wanted in different parts of the palace observing forgotten courtyards by moonlight and wandering about by day taking note of the life of the garrison which included using fishing rods to catch passing birds much no doubt to their relief as the alternatives would have included being shipped off to the Americas to fight the armies of Simon Bolivar and friends however the description suggests that Spain was a uixotic backwater rather than a major empire convulsed with political turbulence a dream country of the imagination in which windmilling giants or buried treasure is just a siesta away and I suppose it is in the nature of a travel book not to uncover or expose foreign lands and exotic places to its readers but actually to create them in their mindsInterspersed with his recollections are Spanish folktales involving either the Alhambra the Moors buried and forgotten treasures or combinations of all three Though I suppose given that Irving was something of a writer himself he might just have made them up not that it matters he makes the Alhambra a liminal space where past and present touch sliding past each other shadows of the author's consciousness that return to life in his pages here again life is a dream view spoiler and dinner is a fine rod caught bird hide spoiler