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

By Rebecca West

Well known as West's such a lot wonderful nonfiction paintings, this booklet describes the author's travels to Yugoslavia along with her husband in 1937--a trip overshadowed by way of the starting to be inevitability of the second one international conflict.

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Extra info for Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey through Yugoslavia

Sample text

Byron in Greece had a comparable experience, of simultaneous exaltation and disillusionment, and even as West was making her way through the Balkans, English volunteers in Spain were uttering slogans about Madrid and Barcelona that they would have felt embarrassed to hear themselves echo for London or Manchester. Many of them were to return disappointed, too. “The enormous condescension of posterity” was the magnificent phrase employed by E. P. Thompson to remind us that we must never belittle the past popular struggles and victories (as well as defeats) that we are inclined to take for granted.

She had none of the womanly virtues. Especially did she lack tenderness.... She was also a great slut. Incautious would be the man, but still more the woman, who incurred the fine wrath of Rebecca West. Her ability to appraise historical and global figures as if she had recently been personally oppressed or insulted by them was a great assistance in driving her narrative forward. Speaking of narrative, she tells us very early on that her preferred analogy—her chosen means of connecting the past to the present—is that of “the sexual affairs of individuals”: As we grow older and see the ends of stories as well as their beginnings, we realize that to the people who take part in them it is almost of greater significance that they should be stories, that they should form a recognizable pattern, than that they should be happy or tragic.

Incautious would be the man, but still more the woman, who incurred the fine wrath of Rebecca West. Her ability to appraise historical and global figures as if she had recently been personally oppressed or insulted by them was a great assistance in driving her narrative forward. Speaking of narrative, she tells us very early on that her preferred analogy—her chosen means of connecting the past to the present—is that of “the sexual affairs of individuals”: As we grow older and see the ends of stories as well as their beginnings, we realize that to the people who take part in them it is almost of greater significance that they should be stories, that they should form a recognizable pattern, than that they should be happy or tragic.

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