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Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey through Yugoslavia (1941)

por Rebecca West

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1,6962310,261 (4.07)155
"Rebecca West's magnum opus . . . one of the great books of our time." --The New Yorker   Written on the brink of World War II, Rebecca West's classic examination of the history, people, and politics of Yugoslavia illuminates a region that is still a focus of international concern. A magnificent blend of travel journal, cultural commentary, and historical insight, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon probes the troubled history of the Balkans and the uneasy relationships among its ethnic groups. The landscape and the people of Yugoslavia are brilliantly observed as West untangles the tensions that rule the country's history as well as its daily life.   For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.… (mais)
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Inglês (19)  Espanhol (1)  Italiano (1)  Francês (1)  Todas as línguas (22)
Mostrando 1-5 de 22 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
‘Cordero negro y halcón gris’, de Rebecca West: un libro que ninguna persona culta debe ignorar, Babelia 13.02.2024: https://elpais.com/babelia/2024-02-13/cordero-negro-y-halcon-gris-de-rebecca-wes...
  Albertos | Feb 18, 2024 |
I finally finished this mother. It was given to me as a gift and I was intimidated by the heft. However, it was one of the finest books I have ever read. It is part travelog, part history, and part literature. It is one of the great books of the 20th century, a magnum opus.

A detailed history of the now Balkanized Yugoslavia up to WWII. It also features some of the finest prose ever put to paper in English. In addition it gives a delightful look into West's Easter holiday in Yugoslavia in the 1930s. By turns humorous and tragic, West also imbues it with her own idiosyncratic thoughts on history, literature, and life. She obviously loves the country and its people even as she recounts the often tragic and bloody history of the Balkans that continues even today. West has one of the great voices.

The book features a fine essay/introduction by the unsurpassable Christopher Hitchens that is a pleasure by itself. It is the worthiest introduction to the book I can think of. ( )
  Gumbywan | Jun 24, 2022 |
Another book not for the faint of heart, 1100 + pages. An account of Ms. West's travels through then Yugoslavia before the Second World War. Combines the history and architecture and the people very well. The darkening shadows of the War is hinted at too. ( )
  charlie68 | Nov 10, 2020 |
While I learned a lot about the various Slav cultures & history, I didn't much care for West's own philosophical thoughts. Even when I agreed with her, something about the way she phrased them rubbed me the wrong way. I found it a struggle to read 50-100 pages at a time, which with a book of over 1000 pages is a great inconvenience! ( )
  leslie.98 | Mar 25, 2020 |
Hatred comes before love, and gives the hater strange and delicious pleasures, but its works are short-lived; the head is cut from the body before the time of natural death, the lie is told to frustrate the other rogue’s plan before it comes to fruit. Sooner or later society tires of making a mosaic of these evil fragments; and even if the rule of hatred lasts some centuries it occupies no place in real time, it is a hiatus in reality, and not the vastest material thefts, not world wide raids on mines and granaries, can give it substance.

Throughout my teetering adulthood I often assume and maintain numerous guises. Oh, I am a Southerner, I understand, I'm Irish, It is really for us Intellectuals to ponder, well, you might know if you were a Manchester United fan like I am. So it goes. These aren't fictions, as such, they simply are whiffs of reality rather than constitutional components. This flaccid list could also include I'm a Serb by marriage. I truly feel that I am but I can relate and certainly empathize. The principal reason I never read this book in the former Yugoslavia was that I feared I would be the everybore, asking questions about West's observations, as asking whether so-and-so spa was still in existence and could we go there, that sort of thing. When my wife and I were married 12 years ago I knew about 200 words in Serbian, now I likely know about 150. There isn't constant reinforcement for such in Indiana.

Life, however, is never as simple as that, and human beings rarely so potent.

Rebecca West traveled to Yugoslavia with her husband in the spring of 1937. She had been by herself the year before and returned to document the fascinating land as the dark clouds of war rumbled into view. There isn't a great deal of judgment about races or nations in these 1200 pages. That is refreshing. The pair arrive for a snowy Easter in Dubrovnik and travel to Zagreb and then Sarajevo. The piece here of Gavrilo Princip
and Franz Ferdinand is simply stunning. Then it is on to Belgrade and then to Macedonia, Kosovo (where the fateful battle of 1389 is explored in gorgeous detail) and finally Montenegro. there are a dozens of short sections detailing towns, vineyards and monasteries. The conceptual ambivalence of Roman rule is considered. Did the viaducts and roads outweigh the hegemony? Did the survival of Millennialist cults betray the fate of present day Bosnia? There is an exciting admixture of poetry and philosophy in these historical digressions, how the aesthetic sparkle of the Byzantines was allowed to sleep under 400 years of Ottoman degradation. Along that road, was the Turkish empire really so vacuous?

The narrative is propelled by the foil of their friend Constantine, a poet and Yugoslav official. He's a Serbian Jew married to Gerda, an ethnic German with a loathing of Slavs, the recriminations of Versailles and, well, apparently Rebecca West. This tension keeps the discussions and observations personal but the reader soon tires of Gerda's shrieking. I have been on bad road trips. I would've cut and ran. I finished the book earlier today and I remain afraid to check online for the fate of Constantine.

( )
1 vote jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 22 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Amid the chaos, however, she also found poetry, rooted in the legends of saints and warriors of Serbia's Byzantine beginnings. . . . It was a vision that some criticized as more poetry than history, but many readers, particularly in 1941 when the book was published in America, must have been stirred by it.
adicionada por christiguc | editarNew York Times, Walter Goodman (Apr 10, 1999)
 
In two almost incredibly full-packed volumes one of the most gifted and searching of modern English novelists and critics has produced not only the magnification and intensification of the travel book form, but, one may say, its apotheosis. Rebecca West's "Journey Through Yugoslavia" is carried out with tireless percipience, nourished from almost bewildering erudition, chronicled with a thoughtfulness itself fervent and poetic; and it explores the many-faceted being of Yugoslavia -- its cities and villages, its history and ancient custom, its people and its soul, its meaning in our world.
adicionada por christiguc | editarNew York Times, Katherine Woods (Oct 26, 1941)
 

» Adicionar outros autores (3 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
West, Rebeccaautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Dyer, GeoffIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Hitchens, ChristopherIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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TO MY FRIENDS IN YUGOSLAVIA, WHO ARE NOW ALL DEAD OR ENSLAVED

Καὶ τὴν ποθεινὴν πατρίδα παράσχου αὐτοῖς,

Παραδείσου πάλιν ποιῶν πολίτας αὐτούς.

Grant to them the Fatherland of their desire,

and make them again citizens of Paradise.
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I raised myself on my elbow and called through he open door into the other wagon-lit: "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.
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"Rebecca West's magnum opus . . . one of the great books of our time." --The New Yorker   Written on the brink of World War II, Rebecca West's classic examination of the history, people, and politics of Yugoslavia illuminates a region that is still a focus of international concern. A magnificent blend of travel journal, cultural commentary, and historical insight, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon probes the troubled history of the Balkans and the uneasy relationships among its ethnic groups. The landscape and the people of Yugoslavia are brilliantly observed as West untangles the tensions that rule the country's history as well as its daily life.   For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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