Saturday, October 31, 2009

Leo Arficanus Blog 1

In this week's reading we began Leo Arficanus by Amin Malalouf. I have found that, just like many others in our class, that this book has come as a major relief. I would much rather read a fictional narrative and still learn the history required from this course than read a boring textbook.

This book is about Leo Arficanus, whose life we know very little about. The author creates this story and fills in the gaps of this mans life and history. The beginning of the book describes Leo Arficanus' early life when he is a boy living in Grenada. The story describes his father as having two wives. One of which is Leo's mother, and the other is a Christian slave. I have always found situations like this very interesting. Being acustomed to our society and culture, I can't imagine it being socially acceptable for a man to have multiple wives.

As the story continues, the man with two wives (Muhammad) gets both women pregnant at the same time, which does not go over well with either woman. The sense of competition is enhanced between the two wives. Interestingly enough, one of the women has a boy and other has a girl. The reader quickly see's the importance of a man having a son over a daughter in this culture as Muhammad pays little attention to his daughter and only focuses on the newborn son.

I'm interested in learning how the difference in religions between the two wives will be significant in the story. What will the juxtaposition of a Muslim mother and Christian mother mean for the development of the relationships?

-Justin Lovett

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