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Wild Europe

Bozidar Jezermik

ISBN 10: 0863565743 / ISBN 13: 9780863565748
Published by Saqi Books, 2003
Condition: Good Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Wild Europe

Publisher: Saqi Books

Publication Date: 2003

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Good

About this title

Synopsis:

Combining witty comment with meticulous research abounding in historical and cultural detail, Jezernik reveals how from the mid 16th to the late 20th century "The Balkans" have been perceived by west European travellers and experts, many of whom have seen it as part of Asia and sought accordingly to inform their contemporaries of its "exotic", "outlandish" and "primitive" ways. The rich source material includes citations from naturalists, geographers, historians and social scientists: from Joseph de Tournefort and Henry Blount via Karl Baedeker, William Gladstone and Paulina Irby, to Edith Durham, Rebecca West and Julia Kristeva. Exploring over 1000 first-hand reports and comparing narratives spanning almost five centuries, the author demonstrates how the project of observing other people in their environment mirrors the observers' own culture and environment. Thus the impressions passed down through the ages about the Balkans say more about Western Europe in most respects than about the lands and people in question.

Review:

'There are journalists who still write about the barbaric nature of those misunderstood [Balkan] countries. Jezernik's measured comments on the views of their blinkered predecessors ought to begin the process of their enlightenment.' Sunday Times 'A fresh and tantalizing approach to Balkan cultural history...useful, readable, and worth reading.' Slavic Review

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