Download PDF by Rebecca West: Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey through Yugoslavia

By Rebecca West

ISBN-10: 1101042680

ISBN-13: 9781101042687

Well known as West's such a lot individual nonfiction paintings, this booklet describes the author's travels to Yugoslavia together with her husband in 1937--a trip overshadowed by means of the growing to be inevitability of the second one global warfare.

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The dawns are more noble, the crags loftier, the people more genuine, the food and wine more luscious.... Here might be the point to try and explicate the lamb and the falcon of West’s title. About halfway through the narrative she is in Belgrade, and finding, as many lovers do, that her new inamorata is beginning to remind her just a little too much of her previous ones. The men in the hotel bar, and the hotel itself, are making Yugoslavia’s capital into an emulation of some imagined bourgeois ideal, replete with modern architecture and up-to-date ideas of businesslike cleverness.

We meet Constantine early on, and we also encounter a method of Rebecca West’s that has given rise to much criticism. Her non-fictional characters are conscripted more as dramatis personae—Montefiore likens her to Thucydides—and given long speeches, even soliloquies, in which to represent sets of ideas and prejudices. This is a privilege extended not only to the people she meets: throughout the book both she and her husband make long and quite grammatical addresses that would be unthinkable in real life, if only because they would be interrupted if given in mixed company and walked out upon if they occurred at the domestic hearth.

These men were the equivalents of Jean Jau res and Rosa Luxemburg in their own country: how disappointing that West’s evident sympathy for Marxist internationalism should have deserted her just when it might have done her some good. There is another marvelous passage, also derived from her stay in Sarajevo, which is this time an eye-witness description, and which actually can be summarized by quotation. She chanced to be in the city on the day of a state visit from the Turkish prime minister Ismet Inönü: the first such courtesy call since the conclusion of hostilities in 1918 and the proclamation by Kemal Atatürk of a secular republic in place of the caliphate.

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Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey through Yugoslavia by Rebecca West

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