For Molly and I, what started as a trip to southern France, has transformed into one giant history lesson about Europe’s darkest 32 years. Everywhere on this continent there is death, loss, violence and destruction.
Reading has continued to dominate our trip and during our time in Montenegro and the Balkans we managed to consume quite a variety of books, from Balkan histories and travelogues to various novels picked up at Belgrade’s English bookstores.
Right there on the river, the very first thing we saw getting out of our car is a large memorial to the “Victims of Communism.”
In 1915, Great Britain made a treaty with Italy that was quite simple: if Italy declared war on the Austrian Empire, they’d get to rule over all of Croatia once the war was over.
But I am in no way different from her in that sense and there is always something exploitative and selfish in traveling. Like any traveler in a foreign land, she is using the place and its people to advance her own self, to improve and advance her own life, just as I am.
No place can be understood from a single visit nor through a single book, but combining the two opens up the past in a way history alone often can’t.
With Barb gone and Molly tired of my rants on French language purism, I thought I’d share with you a brief history of the French language and some of what we’ve learned from The Story of French.