Date Archives May 2017

On the violence of borders

I recently visited Ceuta, a piece of the north African coast that belongs to Spain and is hence part of “Europe”. It was a very strange and disturbing experience to cross that border so easily just by showing my British passport, when many people with different-coloured passports die trying to do the same thing. Here’s a photo I took of the border fence. The houses to the left are in Spain; the hillside to the right is in Morocco. There’s also a small village on the Moroccan side, just out of… Read More

The Russian Window by Dragan Velikic: Review

When I was in Belgrade a while back, I bought four novels in a wonderful bookshop on the main street, Knez Mihailova. They were all literary novels by Serbian writers, translated into English. One thing they all had in common was a lack of plot. In literary fiction in any language, of course, plot can be less central than it is in other types of novel, but I was struck by the fact that in all of them, very little actually happened. They had a quieter, more meditative feeling than most novels I’ve… Read More