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By Ismail Kadare

Seeing pyramids as Egypt's macabre obsession with demise, Pharoah Cheops resists having his personal outfitted, and along with his court docket sages, he discovers that the pyramid used to be initially built as a way of oppressing the folks.

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It had already digested Egypt as soon as prior to, a few humans mentioned, in the course of its building; now it used to be chewing the cud, like a buffalo munching his hay for the second one time. a few idea that Egypt’s ingestion via the pyramid was once a calamity, others observed it as a blessing. Out of the buildup of sufferings and their compression, the latter claimed, a brand new Egypt used to be being born, a purer land, crystalline and glowing. chuffed are they who can be in a position to take advantage of it, as we do! in the meantime the research proceeded, and, based on old customized, blind horses have been used to take the scrolls and the chests within which statements have been filed to the temple of Amun, whence they have been dispatched prior to sunset to the investigators’ places of work. there has been imagined to be an unlimited clutter of the main disparate items mendacity there: nonetheless undeciphered experiences from the Trojan messengers, decayed enamel, the iron needles that the outdated lady Bent Anat used to abort prostitutes, stones from the very backside step, all of the names of the developers of the 12th step (three thousand 8 hundred of them), the piece of rope that the Sumerian ambassador used to hold himself some time past, overwhelmed scorpions, palm leaves, poems with double meanings, sand from the oasis of Farafra, which used to be the place the magician Sa Aset was once suspected of getting cursed Egypt the evening prior to he left, or even the bones of that notorious jackal, the one who had howled after the stone—the stone whose identify and starting place have been nonetheless both and fully unknown—on that unforgettable mid-October evening while all this horror had all started. not anyone, now not even the investigators themselves, rather understood the standards used for choosing and sorting the facts. for example, it was once very unlikely to understand why the crate containing the wheel recovered from the swamp at Behedet (the wheel was once suspected of getting belonged to the carriage of the Babylonian ambassador the person who had brought the vials of poison to the treacherous vizier Horemuya) additionally contained the poem The previous Quarry, by way of Nebounenef, including the malicious interpretation of it written by way of his fellow-poet Amenherounemef, who claimed that the author’s exaggerated liking for the previous quarry of Luxor (where the stone of the 1st four’steps have been hewn) used to be yet an expression of his discontent, to not say of his resentment opposed to the kingdom, sentiments expressed transparently within the following strains: Now on their own underneath the sunshine of the moon You bear in mind once more the times of your early life if you happen to gave delivery to pyramids ... yet no matter if that was once lovely unintelligible, it was once even tougher to appreciate why that they had installed an identical dossier because the poem the Sumerian ambassador’s wife’s lingerie, in addition to the papyrus used to list the result of the research of the bad idiot Setka, particularly his allegedly ambiguous claims concerning the hair that used to be speculated to develop on. the pyramid someday, including the investigating magistrate’s questions: “So, we have now pulled your whole hairs out, will you continue to now not confess?

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