Reading the City of Brass this essay undertakes an analytical response to the story. Without giving a summary of the story, the essay gives a hint of what the story contained before taking the analytical approach. The City of Brass has its setting in the Damascus city of Syria. The ruler ventures into usual grapevine stories with his juniors including Kings, Sultans, and Grandees falling in his area of jurisdiction. The talk culminated in the story of Solomon son of David. ‘Abd-el-Melik, the ruler, one day, having with him the great men from the empire, including of Sultans and, Kings when a discussion took place among them, respecting the traditions of former nations‘ (12). The story blends various narrative traditions in its present presentation. Among others, the story puts together references from the Qur’an, stories of the legend Solomon, and many accounts in Muslim history during the Maghreb conquest. The version is a product of influences by other writers and analysts on the same topics including Alf lay and Gerhardt. This essay holds that the author was a redactor of other tales from various poems. The author borrowed stories from medieval anthologies quoting different verses from them. Comparatively, the author manipulated some information borrowed from the different sources to make the story appear different. In many ways, the author subordinated verse anthologies and historical stories to suit the thematic concerns of the generated story.
Among the changes, the author presents the city whose material consists of a decent jumble. Initially, it was a metaphor representing the dilemmas of being evil and good. They were settings that posed and solved the riddle simultaneously. It prepared the focus of the theme of the tales. The author misses the metaphoric function entailed in the original texts from which the author got the theme. ‘They had a King of their own race, and none of them knew Arabic save their King (69)’. The story misses the precise point of interaction between the city and the subcontext. The difference comes out clearly after an evaluation of the Thousand and one night; the story of the city brass. The author did not put in mind the position that the story of the City of Brass dates back to the center of different forms and domains of ancient history.
Other sources of tales in the story are available in Arabic handbooks as well as geographical lore from the Arab World containing geographical information from scholars (121). The author ought to have taken the stories in the context of history and legend, fiction, as well as reality. Stories contained in the collection by the author have a common feature. All the stories cover journeys through major cities some with a purpose and others aimlessly. Particular representations constitute the primary course of the story and its structure. The movement from one place to another makes this type of structure possible. It also sets the story in their specific time sequence.
The mobility of the hero such as Solomon becomes apparent and the meaning of the story at various levels is definite albeit in a figurative way. The author majorly succeeds in expressing the concept of the journey. Evidence is there from the story that the author applied the formative aspects of a narrative and space representation to build the metaphoric structure of the story. However, the definition and interpretation of metaphors require expansion by applying spatial representations instead of confined descriptions. The functions of metaphors are also imperative in developing meanings within specified contexts. Clearly, the use of metaphors offers support to the system of other metaphors and cannot stand alone. The role expands especially in journey stories such as the City of Brass. ‘The group travels for three more days until they come to a hill with a horseman of brass (156).’ Ratified boundaries define an identified process of individuation bearing in mind the development of mobility of heroes in the story. The idea of the city is diffuse considering the spatial system developed in the City of Brass.
The author, Rudyard. The City of Brass. New York: Doubleday, Page, 1999. Print.