IN TIME LIKE GLASS: Reflections on a Journey in Asia by Evelyn Ames

IN TIME LIKE GLASS: Reflections on a Journey in Asia

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Ames (A Glimpse of Eden, 1967) seems to have experienced Asia in a trance. Traveling with three other couples she and her husband made their way from Iran to Afghanistan, Kashmir, Nepal and India -- ""fairy tale"" places all. Bejeweled palaces, mosques, caravans, bazaars, temples, arabesques, mosaics -- everything shimmers for her and the exotic Omar Khayyam Orient is filled with ineffable meanings re the harmony of the universe and our place in it. ""In Asia the opposites to be observed are such as to stretch the heart to bursting"" -- though her cloying perceptions seem to register only the luxurious, quaint and picturesque with an occasional sidelong glance at ""the fine masculine bearing"" of an Afghan nomad. India is ""scarlet, purple, saffron, apricot-colored saris""; the mountains of Afghanistan turn from ""gold to orange, to rose and mauve."" There is a mention of the plentitude of excrement in India but Ames and her party see Orientals only as picture postcard figures. In the desert city of Shiraz she wonders ""How did people live?"" How indeed? ""A flying-carpet view"" she calls her trip -- and it's just that unreal.

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 1974
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin