Memoirs of a Dervish: Sufis, Mystics and the Sixties

Memoirs of a Dervish: Sufis, Mystics and the Sixties

by Robert Irwin

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In the summer of 1964, while a military coup was taking place and tanks were rolling through the streets of Algiers, Robert Irwin set off for Algeria in search of Sufi enlightenment. There he entered a world of marvels and ecstasy, converted to Islam and received an initiation as a faqir. He learnt the rituals of Islam in North Africa and he studied Arabic in London. He also pursued more esoteric topics under a holy fool possessed of telepathic powers. A series of meditations on the nature of mystical experience run through this memoir. But political violence, torture, rock music, drugs, nightmares, Oxbridge intellectuals and first love and its loss are all part of this strange story from the 1960s.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781847654045
Publisher: Profile
Publication date: 04/14/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Robert Irwin is one of the best known writers on the history and culture of the Islamic world (The Arabian Nights: A Companion; The Alhambra and most recently For Lust of Knowing: the Orientalists and their Enemies). He is also an acclaimed novelist (Arabian Nightmare) and is Middle East editor of The Times Literary Supplement. He lives in London.
Robert Irwin is a novelist, publisher, reviewer, Arabist and historian. He was formerly a lecturer in the Department of Mediaeval History in the University of St Andrews and he is currently a Senior Research Associate of the History Department of the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University. He has published seventeen books, of which six are novels. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Memoirs of a Dervish is published by Profile in 2011.

Table of Contents

Preface x

1 Oxford 1

2 Odd People 11

3 Algeria 43

4 Sacred and Profane Love 83

5 The Summer of 1967 129

6 Shadows 167

7 Aftermath 201

Last Things 229

List of Illustrations 237

Acknowledgements 239

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