by Ghitani, al- Gamal
Built for eternity and radiating an aura of the divine, the pyramids have inspired wonder and fear for millennia. In this gem-like novel, Gamal al-Ghitani uses these enigmatic monuments to evoke the human quest for wisdom and enlightenment. Weaving strands of Sufi mysticism and medieval Islamic history into ancient Egypt’s most enduring symbols, Pyramid Texts beguiles the imagination with its masterful use of language, its haunting parables, and its glimpses of divine revelation.
In a series of chapters each shorter than the last – so that, like their subjects, they taper ultimately into nothingness – the author traces the obsessions that have drawn men over centuries to the brooding presence of the pyramids. A Moroccan shaykh spends years contemplating them in the hope that one day he will understand their mysteries. Seven young men enter the Great Pyramid of Giza, seeking illumination as they penetrate its heart of darkness. Another visitor waits patiently for the moment when the shadow of one pyramid will diverge from its accustomed path and bestow immortality. In each of these tales, the pyramids are the link between the physical and the eternal, the point “where matter ends, and the void begins.” Evoking both the modernist fiction of Jorge Luis Borges and the Sufi poetry of Rumi, Pyramid Texts is a revelational in itself – a brilliant work of literary imagination.