Europe, Europe: Forays Into a Continent

Overview

In this highly acclaimed and entertaining book, already "among the touchstones of the new travel writing" (Newsweek), one of West Germany's leading authors takes us on an insider's tour of Europe in the recent past. Focusing on Italy, Poland, Hungary, Sweden, Spain, and Portugal, he describes how Europe has been moving toward a new identity.

Enzensberger makes a witty and knowledgeable traveling companion, delving into surprising corners and byways—from the back alleys of ...

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Europe, Europe: Forays into a Continent

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Overview

In this highly acclaimed and entertaining book, already "among the touchstones of the new travel writing" (Newsweek), one of West Germany's leading authors takes us on an insider's tour of Europe in the recent past. Focusing on Italy, Poland, Hungary, Sweden, Spain, and Portugal, he describes how Europe has been moving toward a new identity.

Enzensberger makes a witty and knowledgeable traveling companion, delving into surprising corners and byways—from the back alleys of Budapest to the halls of the Italian mint—and striking up conversations with everyone from bankers to revolutionaries, astrologers to apparatchiks. In the process, he suggests that Europe's strength lies increasingly in embracing diversity and improvisation, not bigness and regimentation. He enables us to see with fresh eyes one of the most exciting parts of the world today.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Spirited, acute, and brilliantly observant."
The New York Times

"[Enzensberger is] a raconteur of mordant wit . . . a trenchant political thinker . . . a pleasure to read."
Newsweek

"[Enzensberger's] piercing perception, his talent for evoking astonishing scenes and persons . . . and finally his angry loyalty to truth, make Europe, Europe a collection to which I'll resort for inspiration again and again."
The New York Review of Books

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Enzensberger's disillusioned travel diary based on his wanderings through six European countries is an acerbically witty look at a continent beset by corruption, shadow economies, discredited political parties, and laboring under a crazy-quilt of special-interest groups. This German essayist ( Politics and Crime ) and poet finds the Swedes docile, conformist, touched by historical innocence. His sarcastic sketch of Italy lightly mocks a people obsessed with status and intrigue. In Portugal, he contemplates the stolid natives' passive sabotage that undermines capitalist efficiency. A Polish woman tells him: ``Feminism is a detested aberration! Our men worship us, it's true . . . and that's the source of our power.'' In Hungary, he sees a people stagnating because the political system won't tolerate needed economic reforms. ``Madrid is about as festive as Moscow or Houston,'' the author quips. These sharply illuminating vignettes gauge the social and political realities of each country with a perspicacity rare in travel writing. (May)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679731597
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/18/1990
  • Edition description: REISSUE
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Hans Magnus Enzenberger is internationally known as an essayist, journalist, and poet. Among his previous books are Politics and Crime, and The Consciousness Industry.
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Table of Contents

Swedish Autumn 3
Italian Extravagances 36
Hungarian Confusions 87
Portuguese Reveries 133
Polish Incidents 178
Spanish Shards 230
Epilogue: The Seacoast of Bohemia, 2006 283
Afterword 325
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