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Diary

Vesna Goldsworthy: In Montenegro, 17 February 2000

... The broad new motorway which used to connect Central Europe with Greece and Turkey was eerily empty when I took it last autumn. On the fertile Vojvodinian lowlands between Belgrade and the Hungarian frontier, the freshly ploughed fields were dotted with pieces of twisted iron, sculpted by Nato pilots during the bombing campaign. At one point, an oil refinery has been turned into a group of half-melted steel toadstools; at another, the broken arch of a bridge across the Danube points curlicues towards the sky ...

Only in the Balkans

Misha Glenny: The Balkans Imagined, 29 April 1999

Inventing Ruritania: The Imperialism of the Imagination 
by Vesna Goldsworthy.
Yale, 254 pp., £19.95, May 1998, 0 300 07312 7
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Imagining the Balkans 
by Maria Todorova.
Oxford, 270 pp., £35, June 1997, 9780195087505
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... All this happened just a hundred miles from Dracula’s castle. Only in the Balkans. Although Vesna Goldsworthy does not investigate the Dynasty affair in Inventing Ruritania, it is a rich example of what she calls the ‘imperialism of the imagination’. The television producer who had wanted to massacre the cream of Colorado society was Camille ...

He is English, after all

Neal Ascherson: Unboreable Leigh Fermor, 7 November 2013

The Broken Road: From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos 
by Patrick Leigh Fermor.
John Murray, 362 pp., £25, September 2013, 978 1 84854 752 0
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... when contrasted to some assumed English norm, does put it in a category.’ The guide here is Vesna Goldsworthy’s Inventing Ruritania: The Imperialism of the Imagination (1998). As she shows, writing imaginative or purely fictional work about the Balkans has been an overwhelmingly British habit. Byron can be said to have set it off. But the genre ...

The Suitcase: Part Two

Frances Stonor Saunders, 13 August 2020

... and were grateful to be sealed behind glass and steel in ‘a sort of tinned Occident’, as Vesna Goldsworthy put it. There were Easterners, too, who shared this uneasy view; Easterners who never thought of themselves as Easterners, such as my grandmother, Elena, whose horizon was filled with the West, with Vienna, Paris, London, all of which were ...

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