Alamut, by V. Bartol (1)

Nothing is true – everything is permitted?!

22 days ago in Book story

”THE ULTIMATE KNOWLEDGE IS IMPOSSIBLE because our senses lie to us. There is one mediator between the things that surround us and our thoughts, our intellect. That’s why people condemned them as atheists, because they are afraid of uncertainty, they prefer a lie that promise something tangible to even the most exalted truth if there is nothing to hold on to.”

Writing overview of Vladimir Bartol's Alamut was so tense, I almost started to read it again. Almost 100 years have passed since the book was written, the level of education has increased, the science has advanced, but this topic is nowdays more critical than ever. Just remember places all over Europe as the most resent tragic. Sad and dismay.


A fictional story written in 1938, just before the First World War, could be read as the true story of the 21st century. Almost as the author Vladimir Bartol was able to see into the future and predict Osama bin Laden. At that time on the European political scene just appeared Hitler, which caused reflection on dictatorship, though  Bartol rather got book shifted into imaginary Arab world.


A story is not one that gives the book a key seal, but philosophical depth, asking of life after life and the possibilities of manipulation with human beings on the basis of higher goals. Shocking how there’s people, dictators, manipulators, convinced they are larger than others and take their right to control the fate of other people to the uttermost. And what's more, I can not believe that one could due to the promises of eternal life be renounced to the current life, without evidence of better life after death, so called paradise. Question on which Bartol fiction is based on.


“The Women of Algiers”,  Eugene Delacroix, 1834, oil on canvas, Louvre (Art works selected by art historian Sara Mueller)

”Whoever wants to be a prophet has to treat the masses like children and feed them with fairy tales and falsehoods. Even for some doubting intellectuals it seems more practical to hold onto something solid than to grope their way through eternal uncertainty and endless negation.”

To be continued…

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