Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xi

The kind of endeavor this book represents is, almost by definition, a collective one. The insights I have been able to gain rest on the tradition of generations of great scholars, writers, and thinkers. There are a number of departed for whom, or at least so I had hoped, this book would have...

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Introduction: Charting the Terrain

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pp. 1-34

The modern myth of the Jew as pariah, outsider and wanderer has, ironically enough, been translated into the postmodern myth of the Jew as "other," an other that collapses into the equation: writing = Jew = Book. By what sleight of hand? Metaphor? Metaphysics? Such an exclusive address...

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1. Discontinued Lines: Drafts for an Itinerary

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pp. 35-118

The "old" Levantine world coincides with but is not exclusive to Islamic rule. Although its central source of nourishment remains the fertile symbiosis of Arabic, Jewish, and Romance culture created in the Western Caliphate of Spain from the tenth to the thirteenth centuries and known...

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2. A Garden Enclosed: The Geography of Time

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pp. 119-194

Sometime around 1160, Benjamin of Tudela set out from his native city on a journey that would take some thirteen years. His itinerary covered most of the known world and included stops in several hundred cities in Europe, Asia, and Africa. He described the Great Mosque of Damascus:...

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3. History's Noise: The Beginning of the End

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pp. 195-219

In 1856, after traversing the frontiers of the New World past the Atlantic to the Pacific, Herman Melville ventured back, into "the republic of cousins," the Old World of the Mediterranean Levant. The trip to Cairo and then Constantinople managed to stir something in him, a certain...

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4. Postscript: "To end, to begin again"

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pp. 220-284

The "miraculous cleansing of the land," in the form of the forced expulsion and flight of the Palestinian Arabs in 1948, left empty houses, deserted shops, abandoned villages, and untended orchards, which, lest the refugees attempt to return, all needed "Jewish" bodies to fill...

Notes

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pp. 285-322

Index

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pp. 323-333