4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
An unprejudiced memoir,
This review is from: Along the Enchanted Way: A Story of Love and Life in Romania (Paperback)
With a trip to Transylvania (Covasna, Cluj and Brasov Counties) ahead of me, I purchased this memoir to enjoy an unprejudiced and dispassionate description of traditional life in rural Romania.
I was not disappointed. In the footsteps of Patrick Leigh Fermor, William Blacker discovers a world hardly acquainted with Western frenzies and Capitalist ideologies.
Life is determined by the seasons and the agricultural cycles, with external jarring influences being limited to the bureaucratic assaults by the sequence of kingdoms and governments claiming the Maramures.
Seeking to learn and to live like the genuinely simple people he meets in his wanderlust years, William Blacker experiences their dramas, conflicts, joys and experiences while contributing meaningfully to their lives as well.
The book is extremely insightful for what concerns interesting anecdotes, historical accounts and above all, the local realities of the "uncomfortable" minorities, the Saxons and Gypsies, a heritage of centuries of troubled history contributing their richness and idiosyncrasies in the quest of identity of the Romanian people.
The quasi-ethnographic richness of agricultural and social details enlivens the painting that Blacker conjures up in the space of an extremely inspiring and unique book.
Advocating for causes that have little resonance in our world due to their local significance, Blacker has taught us to value our own social and cultural idiosyncrasies and prevent the spectre of uniformity to engulf our identities.