Altair – foundations of bridges & links.
Alamut is a place, located in Iran. It is the name of a valley in the Alborz Massif south of the Caspian Sea, near the city of Qazvin, 100 kilometres from Tehran, in northwestern Iran. Do you care about that ?
What ? … I’m a what ? I don’t understand your English 😀 you trusted me. ? I hope so
But, frankly, if we all start telling a story about a place on the world map, in 30 million years, we’ll still be there – and the best part is that no one cares.
All right, I’m in great shape and I write like the wind. I like people who think I’m an idiot, it makes me feel so good. The worst, is that is true.
Okay, I didn’t choose this place at random.
It’s not just a point on the map of Iran.
If I play the whore but intellectual, I’ll tell you to go to read The Chronicles of Joinville, then Marco Polo’s Book of Wonders, finish with the Arabian Nights in its entirety – and then we’ll talk about Alamut.
I confess – I did that this morning.
I should be so sorry. I will be.
All this to come to a novel, entitled Alamut, written by a Slovenian, Vladimir Bartol in 1938 – to protest against the coming to power of Hitler and Stalin.
I finished the introduction. Now, I’m serious. I swear.
Alamut is also the name of the fortress of the Old Man in the Mountain, built around 840, and stood at an altitude of 2,100 meters. It is a real fortress and its ruins are still visible.
The Old Man is the one who founded the sect of the Hachichins – which will give the word assassin in French – Joinville is a French author who tells the story of the Seventh Crusade from day to day, and he met real Hachichins: that is why the word arrived directly, without change, in the French language. For you, it means murderer.
So the three books I mentioned give a very precise and very real idea of this sect that has terrorized the Muslim world – I’m not saying to take all this at face value, besides, they were not historians and listened to what others told them.
Bartol added a small pinch of Nietzsche: “Nothing is true, everything is permitted” – which you will find more easily in Thus Spoke Zarathustra than in the mouth of the Hachichins of medieval times.
You still don’t see what I’m getting at? Yes, you do – well, it depends on your subculture.
This sentence is one of the major phrases of the bad guys in Assassin’s Creed.
Well, do you remember the name of Assassin’s Creed first badass Hero ?
His name is Altair.
Do you know the meaning of Alamut in Persian? It means “eagle’s nest“.
Altair, in classical Arabic, means “the eagle in flight“.
In French, we have, for our stars, the “constellation of the Eagle” – it doesn’t exist in English, it’s just for us. Its major star is Altair.
When Ubisoft’s development team began working on the concept for the series that would become Assassin’s Creed, they started with Bartol’s Alamut.
They made a few transformations – you have to adapt well to the modern context, and a game doesn’t normally make politics – and they made a few changes.
but surface transformations.
We didn’t choose the name Altair by chance at all.
It’s not just a fluke – it’s not a fluke at all. You only have to love video games a little to see how all the developers, all the screenwriters, all the graphic designers have gone out and dug into the literature to invent their games. They were right. For just one game, I’m pulling out a library – and in that library, there’s plenty of material for shows.
So I’m still wondering how come we can’t find the stage exploitation of these links anywhere?
In the meantime, our theatre is called Altair, I’m obsessed with links & bridges- and that’s no coincidence.
Featured Image : Alamut, in the background, the mountains of the Elbourz – by Jean Dytar / I don’t want to call Alamut the real part of the theatre – the memory is real and still bloody – but that doesn’t mean I hadn’t thought about it.