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Paul Bowles, Magic & Morocco

by Allen Hibbard

 

 

Published by Cadmus Editions

 

A sweet little book you will love to hold in your hand and caress handsomely set in ever-so-crisp, glorious Elzevirs with a smashing cover featuring lithograph by Austrian artist Hermann Nitsch and magical symbols taken from a kasr in the bled es Siba printed on yummy paper affordably priced.

 

Those who visited Bowles in Tangier often thought of him as a sort of sorcerer, magician, or guru, someone who could ever so cleverly orchestrate the forces around him simply because he understood those forces so deeply and intuitively.

 

                                                                From Paul Bowles, Magic & Morocco

 

 

Paul Bowles, Magic & Morocco by Allen Hibbard (Cadmus Editions; paperback.)

 

 

In Paul Bowles, Magic & Morocco Allen Hibbard locates the sources of Bowles’s creative genius by considering him as a species of North African magician. This book presents a series of riffs on Bowles’s acquaintance with North African customs and culture, other artists and writers affected by Morocco’s mysteries, anthropological studies of magic in North Africa, connections between the modern and the primitive, the influence of Lawrence and Conrad on Bowles, Bowles’s alchemical processes, the operation of magic in his literary work, the magical properties of drugs, sex and music, the improbably story of Alfred Chester and Paul Bowles, and Hibbard’s own account of his pilgrimage to meet the Mage of Morocco.

 

Hibbard combines his skills as a literary critic, extensive knowledge of Arab culture, and personal experiences with Bowles in Tangier to create a tour de force, contextualizing and explicating a half-century’s influence of Arabe al Maghreb.  Motivated by friendship, this homage to Bowles breaks loose from traditional generic boundaries, moving from objective criticism, through memoir, toward imaginative literature, with Hibbard addressing Bowles directly, speaking to him beyond the grave.

 

 

 

ALLEN HIBBARD has written extensively on both Paul and Jane Bowles.  He is the author of Paul Bowles: A Study of the Short Fiction (Twayne, 1993) as well as several articles on Jane Bowles' unfinished novel Out in the World.  He has also edited a collection of interviews with William S. Burroughs (University Press of Mississippi, 1999).  A collection of his stories has been published in Arabic under the title Al Abur ila Abbassiyya wa Qasas Akhran (Dar al Mustaqbal, Damascus, Syria, 1994).  Dr. Hibbard is currently working on a biography of Alfred Chester.

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