Saturday, 25 January 2014

"Along the Enchanted Way"

My room-mate Mark was tucked up with this book during our week in Transylvania last May. I found a copy recently in the Cheltenham Library, and have just finished reading it.

The author, William Blacker spent some years in Romania until a decade ago. For much of the time, his home was in one of the Saxon villages with a gypsy girl by whom he had a son: he gives the village a spurious name, but that son could I suppose be known to one of the boys in my photograph, taken in Malancrav.

It's a curious book: part travelogue, part confessional, it falls between various stools, while still remaining quite a good read. I felt I was being invited to share the sense of sadness that seems to pervade the author's view of life in Romania. But I didn't myself experience that sense - instead coming away exhilarated by my temporary immersion in such another world with its beautiful people.

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