Paul Bowles

A Distant Episode

A Distant Episode


A linguistic professor arrives in Ain Tadouirt seeking to study the local dialects. Confident, condescending and culturally aloof, he is led that night to a quarry and left there. He begins to descend. Met with horror upon horror as his journey continues, he is stripped of dignity, humanity and worth. In this dark short story, language takes a central role as Paul Bowles vividly consigns the Professor to his fate amidst evocative smells, haunting sights and lurking sensations. Incisive and commanding, it is an exploration of the definition of identities, cultural differences and the shifting natures of cultural supremacy.

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