When Dreams Collide: Travels in Yugoslavia with Rebecca West - Nicholas Allan
Saturday, 26th November 2022, 14:00 - 15:30
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About this event
Tickets: Full - £10 Friends of SFL - £8 U16 - £6
“Nick Allan is the best sort of traveller - thoughtful, curious, observant, self-effacing and highly intelligent. When Dreams Collide is a wonderful odyssey of discovery and self-discovery, by turns poignant and celebratory, and a most memorable debut.” WILLIAM DALRYMPLE
When Dreams Collide is Nicholas Allan’s intimate pilgrimage across the former states of Yugoslavia. Shedding the received knowledge of headlines, he explores the splintered co-evolution of these lands over the last ten centuries, guided by the inimitable Rebecca West’s masterpiece, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon.
Written 80 years in the past, West’s account serves as a fascinating reference for the optimistic interwar years of the 20th century between the Ottoman decline and the Nazi onset. The evolving balancing act of Tito’s Yugoslav experiment and the atrocities following its break-up were still to come.
Collapsing empires and proud young nations, monasteries and mosques, brotherhood, hatred, war, music, frescoes, food, costume, people, mountains, rivers and seas, the distant rumbles of the centuries take many forms.
At a turning point in his own life, Allan is drawn to explore this complex area, through the lens of his part Eastern European heritage. He records personal encounters and richly drawn characters interwoven with history and art, politics and religion (too often one and the same).
Enhanced with delightful hand-drawn maps and 73 informative photographs.
“An arresting personal odyssey through the heart of the Balkans..... Allan’s humour, clarity and erudition leap from every page.” KATIE HICKMAN
“It very much made me want to visit the region. Urgently.” NICHOLAS COLERIDGE