• Arts & Culture

    Book Review: what is East and what is West?

    In Mathias Enard’s novel “Compass” the elusive specter of the East is fully exposed. However, not in a way that would satisfy the obsessed orientalist. From the opening lines of the follow-up to Enard’s masterpiece “Zone,” “Compass” thrills the reader lyrically and incites debate over the true homogeneity of both Western demography and culture. “We are two opium smokers each in his own cloud, seeing nothing outside, alone, never understanding each other we smoke, faces agonizing in a mirror…” With this exposition, Enard exposes us to his Proust-like prose, while forcing the reader to consider: is the cultural divide between East and West a smoky, impenetrable wall, as many xenophobic…