Monday, June 04, 2007

Old School

#27 -- "The Iron Gate of Illyria" by Torgny Sommelius

Possibly the most obscure book on my shelf, this was referenced in a Dervla Murphy travelogue that I read some years back. It's a 1950s (I think) account of the (Swedish) author's journey through Yugoslavia, a few years after that country broke from Moscow.

It's pretty joyful and lively. Sommelius reminds me quite a bit of Patrick Leigh Fermor, both in the happiness of his writing, and his improvisational method of travel (he went through Yugoslavia on the way to India, then ended up ditching the India idea and staying in Yugoslavia for months on end). The book is very much coast-oriented, and who can really blame him? The section on Dubrovnik made me want to head back immediately.

It appears this is the only book of his ever translated into English -- too bad. He has/had a pretty good style.

No comments: