Bücher | Books - Part 5

posted by usha on 2005/06/14 09:31

[ Bücher | Books ]

Travelogues on the Balkans are of ever-lasting fascination. Maria Todorova set standards by her monography "Imagining the Balkans", as did Larry Wolff by "Inventing Eastern Europe".

Božidar Jezernik has recently published the monography Wild Europe combining the most appealing characteristics of both forerunners. Thus, he combines the minute embedding of narratives on the Balkans spanning about 500 years in the frame of world history and its changing discourses on hygiene, nationality, civilisation, landscape, an so on, as well as the notion of the "familiar other" and traces of semi-colonialism of western European countries towards the Balkans.

Jezernik developes his own distinctive style of writing combining the most marvelous "facts" presented by the travellers with their matter-of-factly analysis. Seldomly, Jezernik explicitly points out the inventions and (false) attribution of images; mostly, the gap between marvelous "facts", historical context, and self-images is more eloquent than a dozen additional words.

Jezernik's book is highly recommendable, offering a wide range of primary and secondary sources on the topic while being pleasurable and informative to read at the same time. A detailed review is to follow on Kk.rev.


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