Wild Europe: The Balkans in the Gaze of Western Travellers

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Saqi Books, 2004 - History - 320 pages
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Combining witty commentary with meticulous research, Jezernik reveals how "the Balkans" have been perceived by Western European travellers and experts from the mid-sixteenth to late 20th centuries: many of them have regarded the region as part of Asia, and sought accordingly to inform their contemporaries of its "exotic", "outlandish" and "primitive" ways. Exploring over a thousand first-hand reports and comparing narratives spanning nearly 500 years, the author demonstrates that the act of observing other people in their environment mirrors the observer's own culture and mentality. Thus, the impressions passed down through the ages about the Balkans say more about Western Europe in most respects than about the lands and peoples in question.

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Contents

List of Illustrations
13
The Land Where the East Begins
23
Ladies with Greasy Fingers
47
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Bozidar Jezernik teaches cultural anthropology at the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia).

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