Gentlemen of the Road
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Michael Chabon Gentlemen of the Road Despising all my glory, abandoning my high estate, leaving my family, I would go over mountains and hills, through seas and lands, till I should arrive at the place where my Lord the King resides, that I might see not only his glory and magnificence, and that of his servants and ministers, but also the tranquility of the Israelites. On beholding this my eyes would brighten, my reins would exult, my lips would pour forth praises to God, who has not withdrawn his favor from his afflicted ones. — letter of HASDAI IBN SHAPRUT, minister of the Caliph of Spain, to Joseph, ruler of Khazaria, circa 960 “From now on, I'll describe the cities to you,” the Khan had said, “in your journeys you will see if they exist.” — ITALO CALVINO, Invisible Cities CHAPTER ONE ON DISCORD ARISING FROM THE EXCESSIVE LOVE OF A HAT For numberless years a myna had...