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KrowGyrl Offline
#1 Posted : Sunday, June 08, 2008 4:40:58 AM(UTC)
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The following quote caught my eye .....

" ... the accepted notion that hidden skills and formulas are in possession of the guilds--which have been handed down to them by bygone generations of dead dyers--is fabulous, however picturesque. For their skills and formulas are known. Indeed, a second-year student of dying on any Western college possesses wider and clearer notions of the matter than the most noted member of any of the guild of dyers."

I cannot recall the last time I have been so offended by a passage of writing, nor noticed such a frightening example of the sterility of our own times and culture, as this passage. Some kid at a college class knows more than someone spending their entire life at an almost mystical craft. Sure, chemically this may be true. But what of the magic, the soul and mystery? This is exactly what is killing the culture of the West today. They have no conception of this. So I guess by this analogy, the second year college student at typing is more adept than Shakespeare, Hafez, or Cicero because he possesses a greater technology of execution of his words. And the biology student more adept at love and romance than those in love and swept away on February 14th. I would have thought by now that we understood the effects of soulless mechanism upon the human creature. But, I guess not. (Sorry for the screed.)
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RugPro Offline
#2 Posted : Sunday, June 08, 2008 1:32:08 PM(UTC)
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geez, where did you see this article?
KrowGyrl Offline
#3 Posted : Sunday, June 08, 2008 2:09:31 PM(UTC)
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geez, where did you see this article? >>>>


It's a quotation by A.C. Edwards from his 1953 volume "The Persian Carpet" and listed as "cogently noted" in the chapter on dyes in the large volume by Eiland and Eiland The Complete Guide to Oriental Carpets. And I must say, it has soured me instantly on the book, a hefty coffee table piece that promised otherwise to be so pleasing and valuable.
RugPro Offline
#4 Posted : Sunday, June 08, 2008 2:26:09 PM(UTC)
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I wonder what that's all about. It seems both somewhat absurd, yet belittling at the same time. I guess that's part of the whole "read as many authors as possible" regarding Oriental Rugs. What I wonder is if maybe if this Mr. Edwards was a mentor to Eiland. It shouldn't be too difficult to contact Mr. Eiland and find out why he may have included this passage. Seems odd to say the least. That's a pretty powerful statement. It seems to me as though the question of dyes used can be one of the most perplexing things for many rug experts to evaluate unless they have extensive understanding and working knowledge of different groups of rugs. Sure you can take fibers to a lab and evaluate them, but working backwards can be a shot in the dark. The fact is, the process of applying dyes to a rug may be easily explained by a second year college student, but if you ask me, this statement merely reinforces the bastardization of such interpretation of tradition made by some Westerners. Perhaps this is nothing more than a way to boast technology, almost looking down on the romance of the process.

Is that verbatim or was there text in between the quotes omitted?
KrowGyrl Offline
#5 Posted : Sunday, June 08, 2008 3:15:31 PM(UTC)
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Is that verbatim or was there text in between the quotes omitted? >>>>


No, the quote was verbatim, from quotation marks to quotation marks and everything in betewen. However, to me is smacks of the worst sort of 19th century Orientalism. The "harvesting" mentality of certain authors and travelers who then became collectors and then looked down on the very cultures who produced the works as they attempted to comandeer the industry and its products. This is common in the west with all sorts of cultural produce, even ideas, religion, everything. Don't get me started. Silenced
netjim Offline
#6 Posted : Sunday, June 08, 2008 3:59:48 PM(UTC)
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I almost posted earlier that it sounded like something copyright 1956. So it turns out to be 1953.
55 years ago an awful lot was different in culture and attitudes toward other cultures. I should think something like that, while certainly offensive, is at least somewhat easy to dismiss.
Then pick and choose the other parts of the book that may be of help or otherwise enjoyable.
KrowGyrl Offline
#7 Posted : Sunday, June 08, 2008 4:45:04 PM(UTC)
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pick and choose the other parts of the book that may be of help or otherwise enjoyable>>>

Oh yes, of course. I just bristle when I encounter it. It hasn't changed you know, it's just now hidden behind a veneer of what's called "PC."
RugPro Offline
#8 Posted : Sunday, June 08, 2008 5:35:36 PM(UTC)
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What I wonder is when Eiland's book was published? I agree that you do have to pick and choose what you take from these books, but the thing that's difficult is so many of these books have not only conflicting information, which is understandable, but they sometimes have incorrect information which can sometimes be tough to weed through. Especially when it gets into the gritty elements of cultural clash between weaving people.
KrowGyrl Offline
#9 Posted : Sunday, June 08, 2008 5:56:09 PM(UTC)
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As I say, the book the quotation was from was published in 1953, the book I am reading that contained the quotation was published in 1973 and reprinted several times. This edition claims to be updated. It seems to have a great deal of information, diagrams, illustrations, as well as a lot of fine rug photos. And it may just be a telltale residue. But I bristled all the same.
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