SONGS OF MRIRIDA: Courtesan of the High Atlas by Mririda n'Ait Attik

SONGS OF MRIRIDA: Courtesan of the High Atlas

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Part of this little press' ""keepsake series,"" the songs of the Berber courtesan (quite a delicate word for such an earthy lady) came into English via the much larger edition published in Marrakech in 1959 by Rene Euloge, a French soldier and remarkable man of parts. Antaeus editor Halpern notes in his cursory introduction that Mririda disappeared from her native village sometime during WW II, adding another dimension of mystery to the romance of her captivating ballads of abandoned girls and cruel husbands, and pithy proverbs of the sheepherders, potters, beggars and wisemen of the mountains. This is a very prettily made bibelot of its kind that pays a token homage to an ancient culture rich in poetry if not in pomp -- but all that embossed gold-stamped charm seems just a little effete and incongruous when set alongside the aboriginal life of the preliterate people of the Tassaout valley.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1975
Publisher: Unicorn