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From: "Urash, Tom" <turash@firstam.com>
Subject: (urth) The Parliament of the Birds
Date: Thu, 04 May 2000 12:45:32 

The Parliament of the Birds is purportedly of Sufi origin (Persia being for
many centuries the most Sufic of all the Islamic world), and the influence
of the Sufis, operating under the veil of Islam, was quite profound in
Europe despite its rather esoteric workings. Sufism came naturally into
Spain with the occupation by and trade with the North African Arabs and
again during the Crusades. 

Idres Shah's "The Sufis" is a remarkable book and goes into quite a bit of
detail concerning Sufi influences on quite a number of Europeans of
historical times, several of whom may surprise you. Many of the so called
"teaching stories" used by the Sufi masters have found their way into our
culture though not always readily recognizable and almost never credited.

I suspect Gene Wolfe, though certainly not to the degree of Doris Lessing,
has been influenced by the Sufis and the multi-leveled "meanings" so
prevalent in their teaching stories... tom

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Alice Turner [SMTP:akt@attglobal.net]
> Sent:	Wednesday, May 03, 2000 10:08 PM
> To:	urth@lists.best.com
> Subject:	(urth) Re: Digest urth.v028.n198
> From the Kind and Helpful Ratso (what a paradox!)!
> > "I came upon a Persian parable called _The Parliament of the Birds_,
> which
> > supplied me with a plot remarkably -- uncannily -- suited to what I
> had
> > altready thought up.
> For heavens's sake! Chaucer wrote "The Parliament of Foules" (Fowls)
> which I read in somewhat cribbed Middle English back when I was an
> English major in college, but I don't remember (a) it (though if I had
> the energy I could leap from my seat and consult my old textbook); or
> (b) that there was a Persian original. Where would Chaucer have got it
> from? But I'm sure he did. Crowley is quite scrupulous with period
> details in -The Deep- (as I prove in my esssay on the same that so few
> of you [humiliatingly for me] wish to read).

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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