BLACK LAMB AND GREY FALCON by Rebecca West

BLACK LAMB AND GREY FALCON

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KIRKUS REVIEW

I don't think I've ever read a book quite like this. Rebecca West fell in love with Yugoslavia on her first visit in 1935; in 1937 she went back with her husband, and, in this stupendous work (2 volumes 1200 pages) the reader shares almost her every experience, her searching studies into background, causes, psychology and philosophy of the complex, contradictory people that lived in various parts of this strange country. One goes on an intimate voyage of discovery; one shares her findings, her responses, her opinions, her emotions. One sees through her eyes and her brilliant mind, the deep underlying reasons for the unrest past and present, a racial past at odds with itself, ways of thought and life that could never be reconciled, the one with the other. History, past and present, falls into place, as she experiences the effect of what has survived. The pageantry of church and state, the declines and rises of successive civilizations, the penetration of conquerors, the tenuous thread of survival of Serbs, Crosts, Slovenes, Montgrine, Slave elements eternal at war with each other. Personal adventure is the woof, the warp is the underlying motive which gives the book its significance, a basic study of one of the danger spots of world history. Probably this will stand forever as an exhaustive analysis of one segment of southeastern Europe. Rebecca West's scintillating handling will bring many people to read at least parts of it. But- and here lies almost inevitable tragedy of a work like this,- it is so vast a study of what seems to the reading public in general as so small a bit of life, that life itself is too full to give time for such concentration.
Pub Date: Oct. 20th, 1941
ISBN: 014310490X
Page count: 1086pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1941




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