The Arab League holds an emergency meeting on Lebanon. France and the United States agree to work together to contain the Lebanese Hezbollah. Russia indicates support for compromise. Iran’s official government invites everyone to “joint diplomatic efforts” while the unofficial government promises fire and brimstone against attempts at curbing Hezbollah.
These recent Middle East headlines remind me of “The Adventures of Emir Arsalan The Famous”, a popular Persian picaresque novel written in the 19th century.
At one point the eponymic hero, searching the world for the great beauty Farrokh-Laqa who may be nothing but a fantasy, feels as if his life has become a constant repetition of exactly the same events and images.
The novel’s conceit echoes the Pythagorean theory of “eternal recurrence,” according to which whatever is going to happen has already happened again and again.