The parts that I wanted to save and dwell on, though, weren't by the author himself but quotations that he apparently wanted to save, too. I've thought of doing a kind of weekly poetry spotlight on this blog; figured I couldn't count on myself to hold to it, but I see no reason to refrain from an entry or two of that sort.
Here's a (translation of a) poem he used to head one chapter:
From the Muezzin, on the night I lay first with my girl,
The call to prayer broke night into dawn.
Aagh, foolish wretch! What time is this
To remind a man of God?
And, with some of his own context left in, here's some lines from the Koran:
I told him I had hoped to understand the Hazara but had only gathered disconnected and puzzling anecdotes. I asked what could explain the Hazara to me. He smiled and put clean blankets on teh floor. And when I lay down he removed a bundle from a carved wooden box, kissed it, said a prayer, unwrapped it, and, opening the Koran, read:
And what can explain the steep path to you?
It is the freeing of a slave,
Or the giving of food in a day of starvation...
And as I lay wondering who he was, he continued gently:
Unbeliever, I do not worship what you worship,
Nor do you worship what I worship,
I shall never worship what you worship,
Nor will you ever worship what I worship.
You have your religion and I have mine.