Thursday, April 27, 2006


So, I'm reading this crazy book called The Travels of Sir John Mandeville. It was written in the mid 1300s by, you guessed it, Sir John Mandeville. It's pretty funny, but not in a hilarious sort of way, more in a "why that's odd" sort of way (but at times, it is humorous).

Pretty much this guy is like a tour guide explaining the way to the Holy Land. Whether or not he actually had been to the places he described, who knows, but he talked about them very matter-of-factly as if he had.

One paragraph he was writing about the way from one city to the next and then all of a sudden he wrote about this beautiful lady who had been turned into a dragon by a goddess and the only way to turn her back is for a knight to kiss her (as a dragon) on the lips. This is also all written in between professions of Christianity and why the Greeks are wrong for believing the type of Christianity they do and his is right. Now, if God is the only god, how could there even have been a goddess who turned a lady into a dragon?

Anyway, this book is pretty amusing. I'd recommend skipping the introduction, though. I fell asleep reading it. It's all about whether or not Sir John Mandeville actually visited those places and whether or not he was British; and then if he didn't visit those places and/or wasn't British, he was even more of a great writer for being able to write as if he had and was. Apparently this book was THE book to buy if you were travelling to the Holy Land.

So why am I reading it? My friend Keli did a paper on it and was describing some of the craziness in the book to me. My interest was sparked.

Has anyone else read this craziness?


Keli said...

well...i've read the craziness that is Mandeville. say, do you smell apples??

Alisha said...

Obviously you have read it... But I don't smell apples quite yet. Maybe I will later on today.