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Alamut takes place in 11th Century Persia, in the fortress of Alamut, where self- proclaimed prophet Hasan ibn Sabbah is setting up his mad but brilliant. Alamut, novel written by Slovenian writer Vladimir Bartol, published in The novel and its famed maxim—”Nothing is an absolute reality, all is permitted,”. Alamut takes place in 11th Century Persia, in the fortress of Alamut, where self- proclaimed prophet Hasan ibn Sabbah is setting up his mad but brilliant plan to.

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Marking the anniversary of Vladimir Bartol ‘s birth, ” Alamut “, an internationally acclaimed novel by Slovenian author Vladimir Bartolwill be made into a film. An English translation was first published in and a new French translation came out last year.

Vladimir Bartol is one of the most enigmatic authors of Slovenian literature, who has a specific position among men of letters of ‘s. He was born on 24 February in the same year as George Orwell in the village of Sv. His parents were extremely tolerant and broadly liberal and they offered their children extensive education. With adequate stimulation, various horizons opened for young Vladimir.

He always described himself in his autobiographic short stories as an oversensitive and slightly odd child with rich fantasy. He was interested in many things: As a scientist, he collected and researched butterflies. Vladimir Bartol went to school in Trieste and Ljubljana.

1001 Book Review: Alamut Vladimir Bartol

At the University of Ljubljana he studied biology and philosophy, with special attention researched the work of Sigmund Freud.

He graduated in and continued with his studies at Sorbonne in Paris – From tohe lived in Belgrade, where he edited the Slovenian Belgrade Weekly. baryol

Afterwards, he returned to Ljubljana where he lived as a freelance writer until After World War II, he moved to his hometown Trieste, where he spent a whole decade from to Later he became an associate member of Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, which he worked for until his death on 12 September in Ljubljana.

His first short stories were published from to in literary magazines Ljubljanski zvon Ljubljana’s Bell and Lvadimir ptica Blue Bird and were a few years later gathered in a collection Al Arafsecond edition Some of them were actually a preparation for his masterpiece, the novel Alamut.


cladimir Contrary to prevailing social-realism in literature of that time, his prose contained psychological and philosophical elements. By describing the destinies of international demonic and eccentric adventurers, he developed themes related to will, power and absurdity, with which he became a forerunner of gladimir in literature.

Bartol followed Vkadimir in the extensive use of dialogue and Edgar Allan Poe in narrative technique. Bartol’s other works include drama Lopeztragicomedy Empedoklesand collection of short stories Trieste’s Humorous Sketches Since he wrote for many newspapers and magazines, his texts are quite abundantly scattered around and a lot of them were only posthumously published as single pieces of literature; among them are collections of short stories and essays Demon And Eros and Between Idyll And Horrornovel Miracle in the Villagestory Don Lorenzo and autobiography Youth at St.

He also wrote over literary, theatre and art reviews.

Important are also his essays from ‘s with which he was the first to introduce the principles of Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung in Slovenia and in Yugoslavia as well.

When it nartol published inthe novel did not receive very favourable reviews. His contemporary critics considered it too exotic, too adventurous and not Slovenian enough.

However, time was on Bartol’s side. But why does Alamut appeal to its readers so much that it became part of global pop culture?

Vladimir Bartol

There are at least two reasons for it. One of them are undoubtedly the events of 11 September. The second reason for its popularity is the fact that Alamut is a highly readable novel with dramatic plot which deals with eternal themes and can be read from different viewpoints: Vladimir Bartol admitted that while writing the novel he had a feeling that he was creating it not only for his contemporaries but also for the readers that had lived fifty years ago, as well as for the readers that would live fifty years after.

His own words are the best to explain the tremendous popularity of the novel: Bartol saw the essence of Alamut already in his youth during World War I when the image of distant gun flashes from the Soca Front – that he could observe one day while walking home over a hill with his cousin Boris penetrated his consciousness.

Decisive inspiration that finally triggered his wish to write the novel came in when critic, translator and politician Josip Vidmar – draw his attention to historical events that had been described by Marco Polo.


At that moment he set a time limit of ten years to finish the novel – and he also did finish it exactly ten years later in Bartol was an obsessively meticulous person, so it is no wonder that he thoroughly researched numerous historical sources, philosophical works, especially Niccolo Machiavelli’s Il Principe The Prince,and, of course, the Koran in order to write his novel.

Based on the actual historical events, the story of Alamut is set in northern Persia today’s Iran in Hassan Ibn Saba, known as the “old man of the mountain”, is a demonic and charismatic leader of Assassins, a Persian sect of Ismailis.

Vladimir Bartol (Author of Alamut)

In his fortified castle – Eagle’s Nest – of Alamut, he teaches his faithful fedayeen blind obedience and trains them to become “live daggers” in order to fight a holy war against Seldjuk Turks that rule Iran. He cunningly turns them into fanatics: Usurping the world’s great religions and philosophies for his own gain, Hassan implants in his followers spiritual yearnings and delusions, manipulating them in order to carry out a plan of mass destruction.

Shortly thereafter, he sends his kamikaze warriors off, drunk with ideology, to assassinate and massacre for the greater glory of their master. In less than a year’s time, the Seldjuk Empire is shattered into pieces.

The novel is a sophisticated allusion to totalitarian regimes that emerged in Europe in ‘s. Bartol wrote in his notes to the second edition of Alamut in that at some point of writing his characters started talking to him, and live fluid of world historic events infused into his novel: In brief, Alamut is a quite faithful account of the beginning of Ismailis’ history inwho established a sect of Assassins led by Hassan Ibn Saba, and at the same time a vivid allusion to the period of terrible dictators between the two wars.

Vladimir Bartol |

So far, Alamut has been translated into over 20 languages. On the special slovenia Yellow glowing sunset Amazing Ljubljana Slovenia https: The Author of Alamut. In other news