Unfeeling, politics and race in the Balkans in the 1930s: Rebecca West’s Black Lamb and Grey Falcon

Abstract

The importance of Rebecca West’s work, despite the fact that she was a well-respected journalist and critic in her own time, has only just begun to be recognised and to be done justice. Much of this reevaluation has centred on her 1941 book Black Lamb and Grey Falcon. The book is a prime example of a travelogue that, as Andrew Hammond has suggested, would ‘most surely be considered one of the greatest works of the modernist period if only it had not been written in a genre (travel writing) and in a region (Eastern Europe) marginalised alike in British literary studies’. Extending to some half a million words and written on the brink of World War II, the work has been called a ‘monument to the ideologies of national self-rule, anti-imperialism, and feminism’ while another critic describes it as a ‘massively ambitious 1941 travelogue’ which offers a ‘meditation on the history and culture of the Balkans [;] ... a region West (rightly) feared would soon come under the domination of fascism.’

Keywords

unfeeling, race, politics, Balkans, Rebecca West, Black Lamb, Grey Falcon

How to Cite

Dimitriou, N., (2022) “Unfeeling, politics and race in the Balkans in the 1930s: Rebecca West’s Black Lamb and Grey Falcon”, Moveable Type 14(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.1755-4527.133

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Nicola Dimitriou (University of Sheffield)

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