Tell Them of Battles, Kings and Elephants by Mathias Enard
This week’s ‘Book of the Week’ was suggested to us by a regular customer and we were immediately intrigued by its wonderful title: Tell them of Battles, Kings and Elephants.
The book by Mathias Enard was first published in the writer’s native French in 2010 (Parle-leur de batailles, de rois et d’éléphants) and has now been translated by Charlotte Mandell into English and published in a beautiful edition by Fitzcarraldo Editions.
It is the story of how Michelangelo – in 1506 a young but already renowned sculptor – is invited by the sultan of Constantinople to design a bridge over the Golden Horn. The sultan has offered, alongside an enormous payment, the promise of immortality, since Leonardo da Vinci’s design was rejected. Based on real historical fragments, Tell Them of Battles, Kings and Elephants is ‘a novella about why stories are told, why bridges are built, and how seemingly unmatched pieces, seen from the opposite sides of civilization, can mirror one another.’
And here is what our customer said of the book:
’A really good, interesting and quick read. It is written in intricate details that transport you to the streets of Constantinople. A really good translation as well. The language used is beautiful throughout the entire book!’
Thanks Gustav for the suggestion and the feedback!