The Road to Oxiana

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 1982 - Architecture - 292 pages
In 1933 the delightfully eccentric Robert Byron set out on a journey through the Middle East via Beirut, Jerusalem, Baghdad and Teheran to Oxiana -the country of the Oxus, the ancient name for the river Amu Darya which forms part of the border between Afghanistan and the Soviet Union. His arrival at his destination, the legendary tower of Qabus, although a wonder in itself, it not nearly so amazing as the thoroughly captivating, at times zany, record of his adventures.
In addition to its entertainment value, The Road to Oxiana also serves as a rare account of the architectural treasures of a region now inaccessible to most Western travellers. When Paul Fussell "rediscovered" The Road to Oxiana in his recent book Abroad, he whetted the appetite of a whole new generation of readers. In his new introduction, written especially for this volume, Fussell writes: "Reading the book is like stumbling into a modern museum of literary kinds presided over by a benign if eccentric curator. Here armchair travellers will find newspaper clippings, public signs and notices, official forms, letters, diary entries, essays on current politics, lyric passages, historical and archaeological dissertations, brief travel narratives (usually of comic-awful delays and disasters), and--the triumph of the book--at least twenty superb comic dialogues, some of them virtually playlets, complete with stage directions and musical scoring."
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Steve38 - LibraryThing

It has taken me too long to get this deservedly classic travel book. Classic in the jargon sense of famous and also because the author displays his classic education with ease and enthusiasm. Robert ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Kristelh - LibraryThing

Excellent!!! Witty and informational. Robert Byron and his friend Christopher Sykes travel the Road to Oxiana during the time between the two great wars. Interesting portrayal of culture, ancient ruins and political climate. I loved this book. Read full review

Contents

Venice 19
11
PALESTINE
28
Tomb Tower Frontispiece
31
SYRIA
38
IRAK
45
The Friday Mosque
48
The Mausoleum of Uljaitu
64
Teheran
69
Shiraz
57
Abadeh 169
69
Yezd 178
78
Yezd
84
Sultaniya 191
90
A Niche in the Friday Mosque 191
91
Shahi 195
96
The Tower of Kabus
108

Ayn Varzan
77
AFGHANISTAN
84
Chinese Influence at Gazar Gah
96
Kavar 141
41
Ibrahimabad
49
Laman
114
The Mausoleum of Gohar Shad and the Minaret
123
INDIA
179
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About the author (1982)

Paul Fussell Jr. was born in Pasadena, California on March 22, 1924. He was drafted into the Army in 1943 while attending Pomona College. During his tour of duty, he won the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. He returned to college in 1945. He received a bachelor of arts degree from Pomona College in 1947 and a master's degree and a doctorate in English from Harvard University. He taught English at Connecticut College for Women, Rutgers University, and the University of Pennsylvania. During this time he wrote several books on literary topics including The Rhetorical World of Augustan Humanism: Ethics and Imagery from Swift to Burke, Poetic Meter and Poetic Form, and Samuel Johnson and the Life of Writing. In 1975, he published The Great War and Modern Memory, which was a study of World War I and how its horrors fostered a disillusioned modernist sensibility. This book won both the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism and the National Book Award for Arts and Letters. His other works include Abroad: British Literary Traveling Between the Wars, Class: A Guide Through the American Status System, Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War, BAD: Or, the Dumbing of America, and Doing Battle: The Making of a Skeptic. He died of natural causes on May 23, 2012 at the age of 88.

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