The Astrolabe of the Sea-a work of beauty, originality, and universal outlook-is part ancient fable, part contemporary ironic narrative. A mysterious astrolabe that unfolds "the fabric of dreams" to all who gaze upon it was once consigned to the depths of the sea by a Persian king who did not want men "to forget the weight of the concrete and the empire of the real." Centuries later, it is found by a castaway navigator, who is captivated by its stories that combine elements from the realm of myth and dreams, conjuring up a world where the imagination holds sway.
Yet also unfolded from the fabric of these revisited ancient tales is a procession of allegories reflecting the present stresses of an Arab world torn between an impossible fidelity to the past and its difficult position on the cutting edge of the most vital debates of the day. In this first volume of a classic trilogy, Nadir combines a contemporary, emergent postmodern vision with the rich poetic tradition of the Arab and Mediterranean worlds.