Thursday, December 08, 2005

Robert Kaplan

During the frigid tempest, I was proffered a chance through work to trek downtown and pick up an ordered text as well as a travel book which captured my interest, the book Mediterranean Winter by Robert Kaplan struck notes in simultaneous keys: broaching the historical significance of Dalmatia, Tunisia and Sicily. Gibbon and Rebecca West are amongst those conditioned for the odyssey. It also exudes a balmy charm on these blighted days.

I was first introduced to Kaplan almost ten years ago when I read Roger's copy of Balkan Ghosts. I had no idea how personally that region would one day encounter my won travels. Revisiting the etxt, I now argue with many of his assertions , his conservatism about the developing world and a Foucauldian reading of Slavic history. It was of considerable assistance, however, for many years. I read another text about threatened regions of Central Asia and Sub-saharan Africa in 2000 with little residual affect.

I am now weary, the strain of the day is whispering for respite, yet I think a good cigar, some Earl Gray and a few hours Solzhenitsyn with work relative miracles.


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