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Montenegro in Rebecca West’s Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: The literature of travelers as a source for political geogrphy

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Author(s): André-Louis Sanguin

Journal: Geoadria
ISSN 1331-2294

Volume: 16;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 253;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Political Geography | National Identity | Geography of Representations | Spatial Perception | Geosymbols | Travel Literature | Montenegro | Yugoslavia | the Balkans | Rebecca West

ABSTRACT
The literature of travellers represents a key foundation upon which geography was built as a social construct. It depicts the territorial reality on a personal level. The literature of travellers has been at the origin of popular geographical knowledge. In 1941 the great British novelist Rebecca West (1892-1983) published a chronicle of her travels through Yugoslavia from 1936 to 1938: Black Lamb and Grey Falcon. Her book is a good example and a relevant test of the literature of travellers as a source of political geography. Actually, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon is West’s political response to the Balkans rather than an account of her journey through Yugoslavia. Through her writing, West has contributed to the shape of a different public opinion about Yugoslavia and its peoples which continues to live on. Moreover, her book strongly influenced the Anglo-Saxon policy makers on their comprehension of Yugoslavia. West significantly depicted Montenegro in its history, people, traditions and politics by means of pictures regarding Boka Kotorska, Budva, Cetinje, Kolasin, Mount Lovcen, Plav, and Skadar Lake. On the basis of the chapter devoted to Montenegro in West’s book, the paper will focus on its features of political geography through an analysis of significant geosymbols.

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