My friend Quentin sent me this quote which he found clearing out his study. It's written by the great ninth-century intellectual Al-Jahiz in praise of the book:
Have you ever seen [elsewhere] a garden that will go into a man's sleeve, an orchard you can take on your lap, a speaker who can speak of the dead and yet be the interpreter of the living? Where else will you find a companion who sleeps only when you are asleep, and speaks only when you wish him to?
According to Wikipedia, Al-Jahiz wrote 360 books in his long life. Islamic scholar H.A.R Gibb said, 'The most genial writer of the age, if not of Arabic literature, and the founder of the Arab prose style, was the grandson of a Negro slave, Amr ben Bahr, known as Al-Jahiz, 'The Goggle-Eyed.' ' His writings brought together the knowledge and wisdom of the time, one book being about 'the skills of language and eloquence, the art of silence and the art of poetry.'
I wonder which Montana category he would have fitted into?
Links: Al-Jahiz on wikipedia, the blue swims into montana finals, the montana stoush on beattie's bookblog, martin edmond muses on his montana nomination
More recent links (added Saturday June 14): more on beattie's , hear the radio nz discussion, read it in nz herald