I've finished reading "Lust for Knowing". How agreeable it is to have someone more erudite and knowledgeable than I could ever be confirm that Said's Orientalism is the epistemological cul de sac that I have always thought it was, and further how wonderful to have been introduced to Edward Granville Browne.
It is fairly clear that his 'A Year Amongst the Persians' is widely acknowledged as a picaresque classic of travel literature. I will be delighted to read it - especially in these troubled times - as a tribute to the genius of the good people of Iran.
I'd like to read it with a glass of Shiraz in my hand as some believe that the name of the grape was taken from that of the city of Shiraz in Iran, where the process of wine making is thought to have originated 7000 years ago. Historic accounts state that the Shiraz was brought into southern France by a returning crusader, Guy De'Sterimberg who became a hermit and developed a vineyard on a steep hill - that became known as the Hermitage - where he lived in the Rhone River Valley. Apparently spoilsports disproved this story with a DNA study in 1998, although it is still generally agreed that we owe the Persians roses and spinach.
Persian infulence is ubiquitous. Eric Clapton's Layla was insired by an Iranian love story "Layla and Mashoun" that struck a chord with the eternal triangle of EC, Patti Boyd and George Harrison. All together now: