Lebanon: Through Writers Eyes
Ted & Andree Feghali Gorton
Area of interest: Lebanon
Genre: Travel Collections
Date of first publication: 2009
Eland publication date: October 15, 2009
Lebanon has fallen prey to the rapacious appetites of most of the world's greatest powers and vestiges of these transient civilisations are still there: Phoenician tombs and Roman temples, Gothic castles, venerable mosques and churches all jostling for attention. The Lebanese themselves bear genetic witness to this history: dozens of ethnic and religious groups coexist uneasily, hemmed in between mountains and sea, stubbornly defending their rites and traditions in a mosaic-like society where politics informs religion and vice versa. Violence, beauty, poetry, struggle, humour, and occasional examples of inspiring inter-cultural harmony, and bigotry, are all reflected through these writers' eyes.
Including: T. E. Lawrence, Colin Thubron, Khalil Gibran, Hester Stanhope, Homer
The passages have been selected and presented by Ted Gorton and Andree Feghali Gorton. Ted first came to Lebanon in 1967, to study Arabic at the American University of Beirut, AUB; there he met his archaeologist wife Andree. They describe their book as a labour of love: in it, the visitor to Lebanon will discover a country that is infinitely richer, more diverse and perennial than the headlines of the last few decades might suggest. A Lebanese reader will delight in the familiar, as well as discovering new treasures of description, analysis, and literature. biography of Ted & Andree Feghali Gorton
extract from Lebanon: Through Writers Eyes
They may not fully understand Lebanon, but its stunning scenery and rich society composed of myriad religions have inspired generations of travellers to put pen to paper . From Wenamon, an Egyption official who recorded his troubles trying to purchase cedar wood in Byblos circa
110 BC, to the journalists who come today seeking to document Beirut's nightlife or Hizbullah's arms, each has a story to tell...Ted Gorton and Andree Geghali Gorton have taken those stories and weaved them into an elegant tapestry that depicts the country's culture and history. The editors, an Ariabic scholar and an archaeologist who met at the American University of Beirut in the 1960s, claim 'Lebanon Through Writers Eyes' was a 'labour of love' a paean to the beautiful little country they watched tear intself apart and put itself back together again. Extracts from Ted Gorton's own diaries recount the trials of trying to conduct a normal family life in a place where 'Volkswagen-sized shells' drop from the sky. Personal insights like these set this book apart.
Middle East International, March 2010
T. J. Gorton, an American Arabist, and his Lebanese wife Andree Feghali Gorton have long experience of Arabic literatrue, and this carefully researched and detailed anthology feels like a celebration.
Now Lebanon, March 2010
For a young country, Lebanon has an impressively long history and a surprisingly rich literature… The compliers of this collection, one Lebanese-born, both Beirut-educated, have cast wide for these fragments, which they have fashioned into chronological chapters, culminating in writing by the likes of Gerard de Nerval and Flaubert, Mark Twain and Pierre Loti. These are followed by brilliant sections on identities and war.
TLS, May 2010