Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I am toying—

a heading that would indicate a totally (or maybe not) set of activities if this was a pornsite—with the idea of doing another Allegrezza ficcione.

This one would be roughly contemporary with the history of Giovanni Allegrezza, the ancestor whose traces Umberto set out to seek for in the allegrezza. It would mean another relative, a brother or son perhaps, would have to be found; & this time it would take place in Africa, would be centered on Timbuktu, in Mali, during the time of the Mali & Songhay empires.

Djinguereber Mosque, Timbuktu, built in 1327

Timbuktu was a city of great Islamic scholarship in those days, with libraries, Quranic schools, & mosques. It was also a commercial center, situated on trade routes that linked it to the major North African cities, &, from them, on into Europe & Asia. Today it's an improverished place, with just over 30,000 people. But there are also 100,000 manuscripts, some dating back a millenium, kept in private libraries by some of the families there.

trade routes of Northern Africa

I have always believed—ironic though it may seem given today's global tensions—that Western civilization & culture exists only because Islamic scholars kept alive & built upon the great ideas of Greek & Roman & Egyptian philosophy, mathematics, medicine, astronomy, art, etc., with all its writings. Without that preservation, that curatorship by enquiring & active minds, there might never have been a Renaissance.

We might all still be savages, totally ignorant & with no nobility.


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