The Death of Ivan Ilych: What is the right way to live?

Leo Tolstoy’s  short story begins with the funeral of Ivan Ilych (you can read the full story here). We witness the ceremony through Ilych’s friend who is greatly disturbed by such a stark reminder of mortality. The sight of  Ilych’s open casket plunges him into psychological turmoil, which he desperately tries to shake off by … More The Death of Ivan Ilych: What is the right way to live?

Zayni Barakat: on Power and Justice

This absorbing tale follows the rise of Zayni Barakat, the enigmatic Governor of Cairo, during the last tumultuous stage of Mamluk rule before the devastating conquest of the Ottoman Empire (1500-1517). The author, Gamal al-Ghitani, paints a city besieged with fear. The inhabitants face a variety of grim prospects such as attacks from Mamluk soldiers, arbitrary laws … More Zayni Barakat: on Power and Justice