Read The Nomad: The Diaries of Isabelle Eberhardt by Isabelle Eberhardt Free Online
Book Title: The Nomad: The Diaries of Isabelle Eberhardt|
The author of the book: Isabelle Eberhardt
ISBN 13: 9781566565080
Format files: PDF, Epub, DOCx, TXT
The size of the: 947 KB
Edition: Interlink Books
Date of issue: August 14th 2003
Reader ratings: 4.3
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Read full description of the books The Nomad: The Diaries of Isabelle Eberhardt:
Isabelle Eberhardt in sailor's uniform.
ISABELLE Eberhardt was a Swiss-Algerian explorer and writer who lived and travelled extensively in North Africa. She was a polyglot as she was fluent in Latin, Greek, Arabic, Russian, German, French and Italian. Her mother took her to North Africa where she along with her daughter converted to Islam. However, her mother died towards the end of the year.
Isabelle travelled the Sahara desert disguised as an Arab man, calling herself Si Mahmoud Essadi. However, she is more akin to being a transvestite. She was flat-chested, her body full of hair and her teeth black due to smoking kif (a kind of North African drug) and drinking alcohol. She might have indulged in taking chira (another drug) too, as several of her male friends did. She got into the habit because of taking drugs with her brothers Nicolas and Augustin. In fact, they initiated her into the act.
The daughter of a Russian noblewoman and her children's anarchistic tutor, Isabelle Eberhardt was raised to be an independent thinker. Already finished the bottle but yet to finish the cigarette. The best of independence for some!
Her favourite pet was a dove, which died before she moved to North Africa. She mostly travelled on horseback. Her favourite horse was called Sufa, named after a region which she loved. However, on occasion, she would also use dromedaries (an Arabian camel, especially one of a light and swift breed trained for riding or racing) and mules. When the need was required, she could walk long distances too!
She rejected conventional European morality in favour of her own path. She had several affairs. Her lover Slimane Ehnni was finally able to marry her two or three years after meeting her. I am surprised that she read the Quran but went against some of its tenets. The holy book clearly states that sex before marriage is forbidden in Islam. So is alcohol and taking drugs. But then not all Muslims follow the Quran and its tenets 100 per cent.
Dressed as a man, Isabelle travelled in Arab society, with a freedom she could not otherwise have experienced. She seems averse to females as she is mostly, if not always, seen in male company. Promiscuity can then be at its best.
A film entitled "Isabelle Eberhardt" was released in 1991.
The copy of the book that I have is called “The Passionate Nomad – The Diary of Isabelle Eberhardt”, published in English by Virago Press in 1987. The Introduction alone is worth the price of the book. The tome includes “Notes” and a glossary towards the end, which prove extremely useful.
Had she lived longer, she would have turned out to be a fabulous travel writer. Her jottings about Marseilles, Tunisia, Algiers, the people that she meets, architecture, the deserts, the sunsets and various plants is absolutely stupendous. Her first two short stories had already been published in the journal La Nouvelle Revue Moderne in 1895 and 1896. She was writing a novel the manuscript of which was badly damaged in the desert flash flood that took her life in 1904 at the age of 27.
Mathilda May with Peter O'Toole in "Isabelle Eberhardt".
From the two letters which were published in a French newspaper and have been copied in the diary, I could easily gather that she was a brilliant writer and could also have become a political correspondent for newspapers and magazines. She often travels between Geneva, Marseilles and Algeria and Morocco in North Africa. She wrote articles for newspapers and magazines.
Her creative writing was top-notch. Here is one of her quotes: "Now more than ever do I realize that I will never be content with a sedentary life, that I will always be haunted by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere."
An image of Isabelle Eberhardt ensconced in orientalist framing.
She carried several of her books with her, including those of Pierre Loti and Dostoevsky. In fact, the latter was her most favourite whom she kept reading over and over again. There came a time when she could not carry all her books, so she just tore and took the pages she liked the most.
Inspired not only by his tale of dangerous Oriental love but by his gift for disguise and self-invention, Isabelle wanted to be Pierre Loti.
The book is highly recommended for all those who love reading about history, cultures and travelling. Even for those who love reading about adventure.
Isabelle Eberhardt's grave at Ain-Sefra.
Actress Juliet Stevenson retraces the journeys of turn-of-the-century traveller and writer Isabelle Eberhardt in the following video link. (BBC, 1994)
The Australian-French co-production of "Isabelle Eberhardt" (1991).
Read information about the authorIsabelle Eberhardt was a Swiss-Algerian explorer and writer who lived and travelled extensively in North Africa. For the time she was an extremely liberated individual who rejected conventional European morality in favour of her own path and that of Islam. Dressed as a man, calling herself Si Mahmoud Essadi, Eberhardt travelled in Arab society, with a freedom she could not otherwise have experienced. She died in a flash flood in the desert at the age of 27.
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