Tuesday, July 14

A stranger in a strange land...

The map of Persia, illustrated by Cyrus Leroy Baldridge

It is a strange fate to be a stranger in a strange land, and if that’s your fate, then it is up to you to meet the challenges that arise from such strange life-circumstances with diligence, care and a certain degree of objectiveness. After all it is your fate to be a stranger, but not the “strange”. Thus, you can even take advantage of your status as a stranger and explore that strange land as far and wide as you can, for you will be assured that at the end of the day when the strangeness fades out, there prevails an unexpected familiarity with what you had seen as strange! Just keep that in mind!

Any ways, a few weeks ago, in my continuous exploration of the province of Ontario, I entered the charming village of Beaverton in Brock Township of Durham region, without any previous plan, and only when I left that little heavenly place I realized that it was fate’s plan to take me there! Fate it is, that which takes me to places, where strangeness breezes away, gradually and pleasantly. And it was fate that took me to an antique shop, a two-story Victorian house, designed by an English architect, whose name I cannot recall no matter how much I try! In that crammed house, in the parlor, where only half of the antique books in that house of wonder are on display, I found a relatively old edition (1939) of THE ADVENTURES OF HAJJI BABA OF ISPAHAN (1824) by James Justinian Morier (1780-1849), and illustrated by Cyrus Leroy Baldridge (American, 1889-1976). And yes, I purchased the book. For I cannot resist not accumulating treasures, and I have no shame in that regard.

I will not bother you about the content of the book. If you are interested, you can read it for yourself. And yes, the book is available online, and you don’t have an excuse not to do so. It is a travelogue of kind, that has an Orientalist zest to it. But what the heck, you must read what you think is worth the effort, right!?

By the way, the image, that is an ornament to this post, is a scanned image of the map of Persia, illustrated by Leroy> And I reproduced it, not in its actual size—because I have no permission to do so.


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