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“Who exactly was il fachiro? There is no record of him being known by any other name during his stay in Florence, although Vecino notes one passing reference to him as ‘Giovanni’, which may have been made in error. Whenever he was asked, it seems that he replied by declaring his name was Nessuno – Nobody. He is identified in one surviving document as Boulos Enducce, originally a member of an Alevi community in Transoxiana, an area of Central Asia known to the Arab world as Mawarannahr, but there is no evidence to back this up”.

“The second rumour circulating was that the fakir was an Ottoman spy. He had not fled Constantinople at all, but had been sent to Florence by Mehmed II to infiltrate and undermine the most important city in Christendom. He came from the heartlands of the heathen Turkish empire and had played the same role in the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire as he was playing in Florence – confusing and demoralising the population with his blasphemous teachings which were in fact nothing to do with ancient philosophy but were Muslim witchcraft”.

Perantulo’s whirling was like a magnetic centrifuge from which nobody could escape. The other guests found themselves spinning, too, their arms lifting and their clothing billowing. Even the wretched wool merchant, who was now bitterly regretting the derision he had directed at the mage, was caught up in the great gyration. Outside in the streets the people forgot their bewilderment at all that had happened and became hypnotised by the turning that was induced in them by Perantulo. As they turned, they blurred. The ruined city blurred. Cats, dogs, pigeons, sparrows, rats and wall-lizards also started turning and blurring. None of them knew where they were any more, none of them knew who they were any more. There were no borders to universal being. All was one enormous rotation”.

 

The Fakir of Florence: A novel in three layers

by Paul Cudenec

Winter Oak Press, Sussex, England, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9576566-6-6

296 pages

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