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Word Weave by Farzan Navab


We always like to devote a part of our gazette to literary pursuits that relate to Oriental rugs, or to the cultures that produce them. We previously recommended the work of eminent Indian author Ved Mehta. In this issue we would like to suggest Phillip Lopate’s “The Rug Merchant”.
 

The Rug Merchant

 

The Rug Merchant
The Rug Merchant is an engaging book of many sensitivities and reflections. The novel draws us into the world of Cyrus Irani, a Zoroastrian rug merchant living in New York. For years I tried to figure out how best to articulate why this book interests me as much as it does, beyond obvious reasons- the connection to my own life as a “rug merchant,” the relation between East and West, ancient and modern. Now I feel that I relate to Cyrus Irani more as a western reader than anything else. Though he belongs to an ancient culture, he suffers from the same alienating modernity, searching for happiness in an age of ever-growing distance between the individual and society. For Cyrus, as for us, technological dependency lies behind the challenges of contemporary life. At the same time it provides us with an easy escape route. It is both the culprit and the panacea.
  After choosing The Rug Merchant for this issue’s Word Weave, I realized that the book is out of print. However, there are plenty of copies available at various libraries and a few used ones can be found on Amazon.

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