World's masterpiece | novel Alamut
Alamut (English)
Alamut (English)

Alamut (English)

Nothing is true, everything is permitted.
Author: Vladimir Bartol Publisher: Sanje Language: English Translation: Michael Biggins

Alamut is the first-ever English translation of Slovenian writer Vladimir Bartol’s near-forgotten masterpiece—a bestseller across Europe and translated into 19 languages nearly 60 years after its initial publication—based on the life and legend of the original “assassin” and world’s first political terrorist, 11th century Ismaili leader Hasan ibn Sabbah.

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    "Alamut is finished. Relaxed, finally. ... I feel Alamut will be understood by readers in 50 years time."

    A young warrior arrives at a secret mountain fortress and enters the service of a self-proclaimed prophet, Hasan ibn Sabbah who is training an elite group of fanatical fighters who are willing to die for his cause. But the warrior discovers that the enigmatic Hasan has created a massive deception in order to carry out his master-plan.

    With the beautiful gazelle-eyed Halima and the other women he’s bought from the slave markets of Basra and Baghdad, along with a secret substance he's cultivated in the gardens of Alamut, the Master of Alamut—the self-proclaimed prophet, Hasan ibn Sabbah—has created a virtual paradise on earth that will help to transform his corps of elite fighters into “living daggers” that he will use to destroy his enemies and anyone else standing in his way to domination.

    Alamut is the first-ever English translation of Slovenian writer Vladimir Bartol’s near-forgotten masterpiece—a bestseller across Europe and translated into 19 languages nearly 60 years after its initial publication—based on the life and legend of the original “assassin” and world’s first political terrorist, 11th century Ismaili leader Hasan ibn Sabbah.

    Revered by millions for his brilliance, and disdained by countless others for the reign of terror he spawned with his suicide missions, ibn Sabbah has inspired scores of writers throughout the centuries, including Rimbaud, Nerval, Borges and William Burroughs.

    Much more than a prophetic treatise or political allegory on terrorism, Alamut is a gripping story of one man’s unmanacled drive to play God and the human price paid by the innocent to fuel that drive.


    Underaprecciated: Alamut
    - Leonard Lopate Show, WNYC

    Medijski odzivi


    "Like Borges, [Bartol] raises questions but offers few answers…and will leave you with an inexhaustible restlessness and uncertainty.”
    - Ricardo Arturo Ríos Torres, La Prensa

    “You cannot read Alamut like an ordinary book. It is an adventure story from 1938 which transforms itself...into a nightmare novel of the new century.”
    - Olivier Maison, Journal de la Culture

    "Alamut is...a finely wrought, undiscovered minor masterpiece that offers...a wealth of meticulously planned and executed detail and broad potential for symbolic, intertextual and philosophical interpretation."
    - Against Ideologies: Vladimir Bartol and Alamut - Afterword to Alamut by Michael Biggins

    "If Osama bin Laden did not exist, Vladimir Bartol would have invented him."
    - L’Express

    "Alamut portrays even the most Machiavellian individuals as human – ruthless or murderous, but also subject to human virtues, vices, and tragedies… a thoroughly compelling novel cover to cover."
    -
    Midwest Book Review

    "A novel first published in 1938, but now, with its 34th publication, it seems as if written anew… A novel about the profound rationality of irrational religious sects."
    – Bernard Nežmah, Mladina

    "And now, this novel, this pop classic – rooted in the journal of Marco Polo, translated into a great many languages, valued everywhere, from Spain to Germany, from France to Italy, from Bosnia to the Czech Republic, and from Turkey to Iran, but long outcast in Slovenia – is here again, printed once more, yet it is fresher, more topical, and more visionary than ever before."
    – Marcel Štefančič Jr., Premiera

    More Information
    Issue date Invalid date
    Format 150 x 235
    Scope 440
    ISBN /
    translators Michael Biggins
    Editor Rok Zavrtanik
    Collection VLADIMIR BARTOL
    Publisher Sanje
    Language English

    Nothing is true, everything is permitted.

    —The Supreme Ismaili Motto

    OMNIA IN NUMERO ET MENSURA

    “I had a feeling I was writing for a public who was going to live 50 years later...”

    “I finished Alamut at 5.45 a.m. Pleased. These final days I kept trembling for someone not to steal it from me,

    for a fire not to start, or for something else not to happen.

    Towards the end I fancied that someone could even have killed me or I could have met with an accident, Alamut was chiefly completed.

    Yet it was not until I put down the last letter that I felt really at ease. Let someone kill me - in Alamut, I am going to be immortal.”

    – VLADIMIR BARTOL, Diary, Sunday, 24th July 1938

    Vladimir Bartol

    Vladimir Bartol

    Vladimir Bartol (1903–1967)

    writer, playwright, essayist, and critic. Born in Trieste, Vladimir Bartol was one of Slovenia’s leading intellects and an author of plays, short stories and theater reviews. During the 1920s, he studied at the universities of Paris and Ljubljana, concentrating on philosophy, world religions, psychology (he was among the first to introduce Freud’s teachings in the former Yugoslavia) and biology. During World War II, he participated in the resistance movement against the Nazi occupation of former Yugoslavia.

    Alamut, the second of his two novels, represents the culminating point of his ideas and experiences of totalitarianism during the years before and after World War II. Vladimir Bartol did not live to experience the tremendous success of his novel Alamut, even though he had suspected and predicted it. Over the years, Alamut has been published more than 70 times. The success dreamt of by the author is thus becoming a reality.

    Bartol died on 12 September 1967 in Ljubljana, 64 years old, with most of his work out of print and was at the time virtually unknown among his countrymen.

    Besides Alamut his major works are Lopez (1932, drama), Al Araf (1934, collection of short stories), Tržaške humoreske (1952), Mladost pri Svetem Ivanu (1955–56, autobiography).

    Most of his works are currently being rediscovered and republished by Sanje.

     

    It is striking that in his diary, Bartol predicted his first international success with astonishing precision:

    “I will be understood by the public in 50 years” …1938 – and the first success of Alamut in France in 1988.

    “I had a feeling I was writing for a public who was going to live 50 years later…”

    “I finished Alamut at 5.45 a.m. Pleased. These final days I kept trembling for someone not to steal it from me, for a fire not to start, or for something else not to happen.

    Towards the end I fancied that someone could even have killed me or I could have met with an accident, Alamut was chiefly completed. Yet it was not until I put down the last letter that I felt

    really at ease. Let someone kill me - in Alamut, I am going to be immortal.”

    – Vladimir Bartol, Diary, Sunday, 24 July 1938

     

     

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