By Peter Stothard
Whilst Peter Stothard, editor of the days Literary complement, unearths himself stranded in Alexandria within the iciness of 2010 after his flight to South Africa has been cancelled, he units out to discover a kingdom on the point of revolution. Guided via local Egyptians, Stothard lines his personal life-long curiosity within the historical past of Cleopatra, and his repeated failure to put in writing the publication approximately her that he had constantly sought after to.
In Alexandria, half memoir and half shuttle literature, Stothard was once the points of interest and sounds of the traditional urban to reconnect with the formative stories of his adolescence schooling, and his literary occupation. depression and occasionally funny, Alexandria bargains a first-hand glimpse into the fracturing police nation of Hosni Mubarak, prior to the rebellion in Tahir sq. replaced every little thing.
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Additional resources for Alexandria - The Last Nights of Cleopatra
The walk was short. The directions were simple: right on Al Horreya, left on Nebi Danial, past the bookshops and piles of trousers where the two streets meet, the Piccadilly Circus of Alexandria, as the guidebook says; past the lives of Fidel Castro and Richard Burton, catalogues from JCPenney and the Modern Dining Centre, past dozens of purple overalls, an advertisement for a discussion about Jean-Paul Sartre in 2002, a brown-and-white radio mast in Eiffel pattern and a tightly shuttered home for French missionaries.
Life was going to be fine. There were many advantages for us on these company streets. Almost every family had a TV set, assembled during our fathers’ lunch-breaks rather than bought in a shop. We had miniature radios when most of the country still kept the BBC in big wooden boxes: Professor Rame’s career began with the bedroom sound of science fiction, bluff Englishmen bringing their voices to Mars and the Moon. Books, by contrast, were rare. T. Coleridge, the title printed in such a way that for years I thought that the poet was a saint.
His message was of tense reassurance. He stared hard, tugged down the lapels of his tight business suit, and spoke with minimal opening of his mouth: there was ‘nothing to worry about’; everywhere in the world there were ‘suicidists’; the media should not make so much of twenty-three deaths that happened to have happened in Egypt. He had an older, unshaven, workman-trousered colleague who mildly disagreed. Socratis was from the Cecil, the rival colonial refuge on the sea side of the square. He was more relaxed but gave a sharper warning: today, he said, ‘might not be the best day to visit Pompey’s Pillar or the Library’; even in the early hours there was ‘agitation, alarm and the police are checking papers’.