Carpet, Fog of Burning Memories

Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History

The past in Zagreb was underfoot: a soft, thick carpet of leaves, soggy from rain, that my feet sank in and out of, confusing with the present. Leaving the railway station, I walked through curtains of fog tinted yellow by coal fires, the chemical equivalent of burning memories. The fog moved swiftly and was rent by holes, a fragment of wrought iron or baroque dome appeared momentarily in fine focus. There. That too was the past, I realized: a hole in the fog you could see right through.

Chapter One, Croatia: “Just So They Could Go to Heaven". “Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History (New Edition)“, Robert D. Kaplan, published by Picador.


Wikipedia 的 Robert D. Kaplan 條目有寫到,柯林頓總統被媒體看到夾著這本 Balkan Ghosts 的軼事;本來這本書賣的不好,後來因為南斯拉夫戰爭爆發,政府高層因此而重新發現這本書,許多批評更說政府高層拿此書來作為不介入南斯拉夫的托詞。

我跟 J 在杜城的書店中,請老闆推薦關於南斯拉夫戰爭與歷史的書;我們在三本中挑了這本。一開始的新版補遺諸文,等於是在當時論閱讀,複習九九年之後的南邦解體後諸國情勢。直到讀到 93 年版的第一章:克羅埃西亞,才對於其文字意象驚為天人。以為記。