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Al-Araf is both a picture of the apocalyptic schizophrenia of contemporary man and a map of his future.
After the epic breadth of Alamut, these short stories reveal a different Bartol, an ingenious storyteller. From story to story, the characters and plots add up to create a portrait of the modern man. The stories, owing much to Bartol’s own enperience and to his thorough knowledge of psychology, biology, history and especially philosophy, also abound in fantasy and romance. They keep slipping across genre boundaries, from erotic-romantic prose through adventure of crime story to science fiction, always to return to the urgent themes of the collection Al-Araf as a whole: problems of knowledge, pover, freedom.