Tuesday, 12 April 2011

A Europe of Regions

Reading Claudio Magris wonderful book "Danube. Biography of a River", it occurred to me how much I share his ideal of a Europe not bound together by economic interests, mutual resentment and financial demands.

But a Europe of interconnected regions undivided by borders, where regions, dialects, customs and landscape mix, flow and ebb, and it is impossible to define where one ends and the other starts. The true meaning of intercultural life.

The book concentrates on the Danube, a river that meanderingly connects (what would nowadays be) 10 countries and spans almost 2,000 miles. Its origin is in the Black Forest in Germany and its estuary is by the Black Sea.

It is great to see a river not as a border, but as a living stream of trade, cultural exchange and perpetuum mobile of ideas.

Whilst, especially from a Europhobic postion it takes time to get used to such a gentle and serene view of Continetal Europe, it is ceratinly worth the effort. A great book and a great concept - a Europe of Regions.

(Claudio Magris: Danube http://www.amazon.co.uk)