When The Sheltering Sky was first published in 1949, it established Paul Bowles as one of the most singular and promising writers of the postwar generation. Its startlingly original vision has withstood the test of time and confirmed Tennessee Williams's early estimation: "The Sheltering Sky alone of the books that I have . . . read by American authors appears to bear the spiritual imprint of recent history in the western world." In this classic work of psychological terror, Bowles examines the ways in which Americans apprehend an alien culture and the ways in which their incomprehension destroys them.
The story of three worldly young travelers Port Moresby, his wife, Kit, and their friend, Tunner--adrift in the cities and deserts of North Africa after World War II, The Sheltering Sky is merciless in its evocation of the emotional dislocation induced by a foreign setting. As the Americans embark on an ill-fated journey through desolate terrain, they are pushed to the limits of human reason and intelligence by the unfathomable emptiness and impassive cruelty of the desert. Along the way, they encounter a host of enigmatic characters whose inarticulate strangeness seals the travelers off even more completely from the culture in which they are traveling, causing their fierce attachments to one another to unravel.
This special fiftieth anniversary commemorative edition of Bowles's unforgettable first novel includes the original New York Times review by Tennessee Williams and a preface the author wrote for his first novel before he died in 1999....Continua
A really fascinating book. A genuine account of foreigners visiting north Africa during the forties, the contrasts and gaps, the overwhelming nature that is ruling and absorbing their lives in its cycle. I wonder what the reactions were when the novel first was released because of the modernity of the characters that are really representing at the same time the loss of reference points and the pursuit of culture confrontation.
The idea of a landscape that is kind of breathing and absorbing the travelers in its rhythm.
The desert, the north-west african setting that much resembles *my* Morocco and the English speaking expats: a mix of explosive attraction to me; for this book as well as for the Bertolucci's film.