Persia's 10th- and 11th-century Raymond Chandler
'"The night was like jet dipped in pitch. there lent /That's the beginning of "The Story of Bizhan and Manizha" from Iran/Persia's national epic the Shahnameh (Book of Kings), and it's a hell of a way of saying, "It was dark out." Think of it as a medieval Near Eastern counterpart to:
No planet lustre to the firmament /
The moon, appearing in her new array /
Through rust and dust she journeyed through the sky /
Night's retinue had spread out everywhere /
A carpet black as raven's plumes ... "
“There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.”And now, readers, what are your favorite depictions of night, or your favorite pieces of atmosphere in general, in crime fiction or otherwise?
© Peter Rozovsky 2014