It’s a Knock-Out

Tom Nairn

  • The Spirit of the Age: An Account of Our Times by David Selbourne
    Sinclair-Stevenson, 388 pp, £20.00, February 1993, ISBN 1 85619 204 0

In his brilliant account of collapsing Yugoslavia, A Paper House, Mark Thompson meets a leader of the Vojvodina Ruthenes called Professor Julijan Tamas. Since 1989 this tiny people has been struggling back into political existence. In 1991 they managed to stage the first World Congress of Ruthenes and just before that the first Bible in Ruthenian had finally appeared. ‘“We want to create the conditions for an Epic of Gilgamesh for the Ruthenes,” said the Professor. I tried not to gape, while he eyed me shrewdly and sipped his whisky, sure of his effect.’

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