Sunday, 18 December 2016

Europe

Brookner's father, meanwhile, had come to England from Poland at 16: 'From Piotrokow Tribunalski; sorry, I can't even spell it. We couldn't pronounce his Christian name, either, and called him Newson.'
1994 interview (Link)

What strikes me about this quote is the foreignness, even the exoticism of Poland and the Polish in those days. Berlin, too, in Latecomers (1988), seems outlandish. How far we have come in a few decades. When I was growing up, the likes of Poland or East Germany were indeed scary places, but now I visit them without a second thought. The Brooknerian world has truly opened up.

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