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Nicholas Schmidle

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schmidle and fair on the laden raid – that imagination

Hoping to look into the role of exciting, exotical and eastern mountaineering as part of careers in the east that have become part of our understanding of the area that is belted by Hindukush. Karakoram and Himalaya, I am currently with Francis Younghusband in Tibet. While he was determined to understand the locals here, he always manages to portray the locals as backward through narratives that are a mixture of empire-supremacy, political opportunism, ethnology and heart-felt-love for or heart-felt-despise of the people. I smirk now and again at his descriptions – after all, that was a whole century ago. Todays’ writing that becomes polciy relevant like Younghausband’s did in it’s day is, chastened by the ever present threat of being accused of Orientalism or breach of political correctness, a lot less obvious in such revealings of imagination. But when it does come up, it leaves me with a cringing smirk. Continue reading

Angrez Writing on Pakistan’s Current Affairs – a future benchmark

In my eyes this is the most remarkable aspect of this book – in a time where he can be sure to sell adventure stories easily (and the title of the book pointed in this direction) to media that wants it’s chliche-lust satisfied (Greg Mortenson is I think the best latest example), he stayed sober and reported what was to report. On the other hand, his trip to Sehwan does not turn into a cheap defence of Pakistan as a sufi-not-terrorist country and while travelling he does not see the need to portray that beauty of the country at which foreigners marvel who expected Pakistan must look like hell considering what they read in the daily news coverage. Continue reading

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