"Luke Powell's calm, clear, almost Arcadian vision is not a rejection of the real world; nor an expression of hostility toward it, nor the manifestation of a desire to escape from it," wrote French novelist and critic Camille Bourniquel. "Rather, it expresses his desire to establish a connection between himself and that which may be permanent in our disoriented world, that which it may be possible to preserve."
No place on Earth is timeless, of course, and no thing is permanent. The Vale of Swat is remote, but not isolated: Alexander the Great passed through 2300 years ago, and moderately intrepid tourists come and go every day.
Enameled kettles from China, transistor radios, diesel trucks and a thousand other manufactured products are changing the lives of the people. But men still assemble in the mosque to worship the One God, children still hope to catch fish in brooks, and—as Doris Srinivasan shows in her article on page 8—artisans still remember the patterns in wood and cloth that they learned from their teachers and their teachers' teachers.