Handbook to a Hypothetical City
The City contains multitudes. This Handbook is a traveller's guide, inventory and sign manual, describing the City's rites and ceremonies; its sights, sounds and smells; its traditions, military and ecclesiastical; and some of its residents, ordinary and extraordinary. Seen through a veil of conflicting cultures – Islamic, Byzantine, Christian – the assonances and dissonances of this paradoxical City are yet interpreted with lucidity and laconic wit. Its chronicler speaks both for the outsider looking in at his City and for the Insider looking outwards.
This is a sharp, funny-serious work, of extreme conciseness, about some little local difficulties, which are prehaps no quite so little, or so local as they seem.
ALBERT RECHTS born half-way between the two World Wars in a place fortunately sheltered from the worst barbarities of both, is a professional man with a lively interest in travel, history and the arts. Over the years he has come to know well the city upon which this Handbook to a Hypothetical Cityis based.