Category Archives: Book Reviews

Croatia (Blogging Black Lamb and Grey Falcon)

“Politics, always politics.  In the middle of the night, when there is a rap on our bedroom door, it is politics.” (Croatia/Zagreb VII) ENDING THE JOURNEY of the previous chapter, Rebecca West and her husband arrive in Zagreb proper. Three … Continue reading

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Journey (Blogging Black Lamb and Grey Falcon)

“These were exactly like all Aryan Germans I had ever known; and there were sixty millions of them in the middle of Europe.” (Journey) WITH HER HUSBAND Rebecca West travels by train from Salzburg, Austria, to Zagreb, the capital of … Continue reading

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Prologue (Blogging Black Lamb and Grey Falcon)

“And the death of Elizabeth had shown me the scourge of the world after the war, Luccheni, Fascism, the rule of the dispossessed class that claims its rights and cannot conceive them save in terms of empty violence, of killing, … Continue reading

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Not too late to seek a newer world (Blogging Black Lamb and Grey Falcon)

“My dear, I know I have inconvenienced you terribly by making you take your holiday now, and I know you did not really want to come to Yugoslavia at all.  But when you get there you will see why it … Continue reading

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The Bridge on the Neretva (Blogging Black Lamb and Grey Falcon)

“To look at it is good; to stand on it is as good.” (Black Lamb and Grey Falcon) THE COVER OF nearly every edition of Black Lamb and Grey Falcon prominently features the same extraordinary architectural, cultural, and pontine monument … Continue reading

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Working Titles (Blogging Black Lamb and Grey Falcon)

“I write books to find out about things.” (Paris Review, 1981) FOR THIS PROJECT I have four individual editions of Black Lamb separated in publication by 80 years. More than 25 years ago I started reading the 1994 Penguin Books … Continue reading

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Blogging ‘Black Lamb and Grey Falcon’

“What is Kaimakshalan?  A mountain in Macedonia, but where is Macedonia since the Peace Treaty?  This part of it is called South Serbia.  And where is that, in Czechoslovakia, or in Bulgaria?  And what has happened there?  The answer is … Continue reading

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Garry Wills’ Qur’an (Part One)

Is Islam as American as apple pie?  Both are early imports from Asia Minor – Islam from the Arabian Peninsula by way of Africa and Iberia, apples from southern Kazakhstan by way of Europe – that have grown deep roots … Continue reading

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The Secret History of Small Mercies

The most devastating scene in The Lives of Others, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s 2007 film about the East German Stasi, comes near the end when the playwright, played by Sebastian Koch, pulls the wire taps out of his walls of … Continue reading

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Belief from the inside out

Carla Power’s Pulitizer Prize-shortlisted If the Oceans Were Ink, an outsider’s meditation on The Holy Qur’an with the help of a learned Islamic scholar, signals a subtle but seismic shift in our intellectual world.  It joins other unmistakable indications that mostly secular Western … Continue reading

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