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Writing Nature in Cold War American Literature$
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Sarah Daw

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474430029

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474430029.001.0001

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Attaining fana in Paul Bowles’s Infinite Landscapes

Attaining fana in Paul Bowles’s Infinite Landscapes

Chapter:
(p.26) Chapter 1 Attaining fana in Paul Bowles’s Infinite Landscapes
Source:
Writing Nature in Cold War American Literature
Author(s):

Sarah Daw

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474430029.003.0002

Chapter One interrogates Paul Bowles’s presentation of the human relationship to Nature in his bestselling novel The Sheltering Sky (1949). In his autobiography Without Stopping (1972), Bowles describes a “secret connection between the world of nature and the consciousness of man” that is activated by the presence of the North African desert landscape. The chapter investigates the prevalence of such interactions between the human mind and the desert landscape across Bowles’s fiction and non-fiction writing, and demonstrates the degree to which Bowles’s exposure to Sufism shaped his literary depictions of an infinite, ecological Nature with the power to influence and annihilate the human. This chapter reads The Sheltering Sky (1949) alongside Bowles’s extensive non-fiction travel writing, in order to expose the influence of Sufism on the novel’s depictions of an infinite and annihilating desert landscape.

Keywords:   Paul Bowles, Sufism, Ecological, The Sheltering Sky, Nature

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