Monday, November 05, 2007

Gaps In My Education

Add one to the notes from yesterday: apparently sustained writing makes me want to read more.

#46 -- "The Yugoslavs" by Dusko Doder

An unexpected find here, a 1970s book on Yugoslavia by the Washington Post's then-Belgrade bureau chief. I found this for $5 in a used bookstore a few weeks back, and even though I really should declare a moratorium on Balkan books, I had to have it.

I've read a gazillion things on the collapse of Yugoslavia, and a fair amount on the country's years from independence to WWII, but precious little on Tito-era Yugoslavia. It's sort of a quiet time, with relative (for Eastern Europe) freedoms, none of the violence that was to come. Reading it now, I feel like I'm searching a killer's house for early warning signs -- anything that indicated the carnage to come.

The most interesting bits, for me, was the profiling of Marshal Tito -- someone I know surprisingly little about. Doder's portrayal of the leader comes from second-hand sources, but it's well-researched and well-rounded, and gave me a bit more insight into how he held Yugoslavia together (and why, perhaps, it fell apart after his death).

* * *

The writing goes on, though I did the math today and realized I'm only slightly above what I should have written on one day alone. Planning to take a day this weekend and hunker down, and write thousands upon thousands of words. (and probably get drunk.)

On the site, one of my "writing buddies" has another buddy who's already at 15,000 words. This after five days. Good lord.

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