journeys at home and abroad
A couple of links, in fact three or four, to the East-West divide or confluence –
First a piece by AA Gill in the Sunday Times magazine, found in a hospital waiting room today, of a journey down the Danube, from Furtwangen in the Black Forest to Constanţa on the Black Sea coast. The Danube doesn’t neatly divide the linguistic families or scripts, plum brandy from wine, what was Roman Empire from what wasn’t, or even Latin from Orthodox Christians, but it’s a charming tale. Gill includes reminders of some of the bad times – including iron footwear in Budapest as a tribute to the Jews killed there during WWII and a memorial to Croatians killed at Vukovar.
Second, BBC World Service’s Forum this evening included Bosnian writer Aleksandar Hemon. Part of the ambitious British Museum – BBC project The History of the World in 100 Objects. Listen again through the World Service website.
And thirdly, a book which someone has kindly given to me and which I’d love to read when life stops getting in the way – a biography of Sir Francis Younghusband by Patrick French. This book seems to be going viral since its publication in 2004. Younghusband travelled, but also thought about where he was and the people he met. He ended up co-founding the World Congress of Faiths – a body I’ve never quite got my head around.
And I can never say East-West without thinking West-Eastern Divan Orchestra.