November 23, 2005

Cosmology of the Khazars


From the Green Book (Islamic sources) of the Dictionary of the Khazars, a lexicon novel by Milorad Pavic.
The Khazars believe that deep in the inky blackness of the Caspian Sea there is an eyeless fish that, like a clock, marks the only correct time of the universe. In the beginning, according to Khazar legend, all creation, the past and future, all events and things, melted as they swam in the fiery river of time, former and subsequent beings mixing like soap and water. At the time, to the horror of others, every living thing could create any other living thing; it was not until the Khazar god of salt ruled that beings could only give birth to their own image that an end was put to their willfulness. He separated the past from the future, set up his throne in the present; he walks over the future and flies over the past to keep an eye on it. He creates an entire world out of himself, but he swallows and chews up whatever is old, spitting out a rejuvenated world. The fate of all human races, the book of nations, is inscribed in the universe, where every star represents the nest and the already formed life of a language or people. And so the universe is visible and compressed eternity, in which the fates of human races twinkle like stars.


The Khazars image the future in terms of space, never time. Their places of worship are built in a strict, predefined arrangement, which, when connected, forms a picture of Adam Ruhani, the third angel, the symbol of the Khazar princess and her sect of priests. With the Khazars, a character moves from one dream to another, and the Khazars can follow it from village to village. There are priests from the sect of Princess Ateh who follow these figures from one dream to another, writing their biographies like the lives of saints or prophets, with their deeds and detailed descriptions of their deaths. The Khazar kaghan does not like these dream hunters, but he can do nothing to them. Dream hunters always carry the leaf of a secretly grown plant they call ku. When the leaf is placed on a rip in a sail or on a wound, it mends and heals instantaneously, as though by itself.

Milorad Pavic: The Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel
steph's dictionary of the khazars map
Notes on Reading Dictionary of the Khazars by Milorad Pavic Dictionary of the Khazars (M) (Vintage International): Books: Milorad Pavic (see reviews)
Dictionary of the Khazars by Pavich
Milorad Pavic: Dictionary of the Khazars: review by Steven Silver

Posted by psyche at November 23, 2005 06:40 PM