Les Bonnets, ou Talemik et Zinéra. Histoire moderne traduite de l'Arabe. Gabriel MAILHOL.
Les Bonnets, ou Talemik et Zinéra. Histoire moderne traduite de l'Arabe.

Les Bonnets, ou Talemik et Zinéra…
Les Bonnets, ou Talemik et Zinéra. Histoire moderne traduite de l'Arabe.

London: Jacques-Francois Quillau, 1765.

Duodecimo, contemporary sprinkled calf, flat spine banded in gilt.

First edition: a strange Orientalist tale of Talemik and Zinera, royalty of the cosmopolitan Abbasid caliphate which ruled from Baghdad until the city was sacked in 1258.

First edition: a strange Orientalist tale of Talemik and Zinera, royalty of the cosmopolitan Abbasid caliphate which ruled from Baghdad until the city was sacked in 1258.
Although the novel itself is a fairly traditional oriental tale, its convoluted introduction shows an ingenious appropriation of the imaginary voyage: broke and unhappy, the narrator has sailed for India to make his fortune, trading iron and glass for money and pearls. Not content with such successful trading, he becomes general of a mercenary army, where he wields great power and further enhances his prestige, so that when he comes to leave he has amassed enough wealth to fill three vessels. Delighted, he decides to return to Europe, but rounding the Cape of Good Hope a vicious storm separates his three vessels and he is forced to abandon his ship. Happily, he soon beaches on a hitherto unknown island which, unusually for the imaginary voyage tradition, he maps relatively precisely at 25º latitude and 30º longitude (actually about one thousand kilometres into the Atlantic ocean from the South American coast, roughly level with Rio de Janeiro).
Here, to his unending delight he is not only reunited with his two other ships, but is gifted this manuscript, written in Arabic, and which he believes to be so instructive and forceful that he feels it is the greatest part of his treasure: 'Tandis qu'on vend au Havre les fruits immenses de ma pacotille, je prends la poste, j'arrive à Paris, on m'imprime, & je ne crois pas certainement faire un mauvais présent à l'Europe'.

Barbier, I, p. 448.

Price (AUD): $1,400.00  other currencies     Ref: #3005429

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