By Sam Vaknin
It is a sequence of articles written and released in 1996-2000 in Macedonia, in Russia, in Egypt and within the Czech Republic.
How the West misplaced the East. The economics, the politics, the geopolitics, the conspiracies, the corruption, the previous and the recent, the plough and the web – it's all the following, in prose, as provocative and vitriolic and loving and longing as i may make it.
From "The brain of Darkness":
"'The Balkans' – I say – 'is the subconscious of the world'. humans cease to digest this metaphor after which they nod enthusiastically. it's the following that the repressed thoughts of background, its traumas and fears and pictures live. it's right here that the psychodynamics of humanity – the tectonic conflict among Rome and Byzantium, West and East, Judeo-Christianity and Islam – remains to be simply discernible. we're seated at a brand new Year's eating desk, loaded with a roasted pig and unique salads.
I, the Jew, merely part international to this cradle of Slavonics. 4 Serbs, 5 Macedonians. it's within the Balkans that each one ethnic differences fail and it really is the following that they succeed anachronistically and atavistically. Contradiction and alter the single furnishings of this tormented region.
The ladies of the Balkan – buried below provocative mask-like make up, unfashionable hairstyles and too slender clothes. the lads, clad in sepia colors, quaint matches and switch of the century moustaches. within the historical past there's the crying video game that's Balkanian track: liturgy and people and elegy mixed. The smells are heavy with musk-ular perfumes. it truly is like time commute. it truly is like revisiting one's childhood."
How have been the articles and essays contained herein – a lot of them translated and released in neighborhood languages – bought by means of humans everywhere?
My readers from the Balkans reacted to those essays with an admixture of rage and indignation. They erected protecting barricades of self-aggrandizement and of my devaluation. and so they allow their ingrained paranoia run rampant (Jewish conspiracies, Western spies, global plots). I requested a resident of this tortured quarter to put in writing the foreword to this booklet. humans from different components, from crucial and jap Europe, have been extra argumentative and considering, notwithstanding less passionate. And Westerners – specifically people with curiosity in those areas of the realm – reacted with nice, cathartic enthusiasm.
In examining this e-book, I want upon you the enjoyment and the revulsion, the darkish fascination of this sector and its surrealist goals and nightmares. this can be what I event day-by-day the following and it's my desire that I succeeded to exhibit the siren's tune, the honeyed seize, the trap and the attract of this tortured nook of the earth.
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Additional info for After the Rain: How the West Lost the East
Life was drab but safe as long as one abstained from politics and subserviently consumed the bitter medicines of acquiescence and collaboration. The vast majority (with the exception of the USSR under Stalin) were not affected by the arbitrary capriciousness of history. They decayed slowly in their housing estates, morally degenerate, possession-less but certain of a future that is the spitting image of their past. Under the spastic orgy of legalized robbery of state assets that passed for privatisation, millions were made redundant while thousands enriched themselves by choreographed looting.
Information is pursued frantically, appearances discarded, data juggled, heated debates ensue, versions erupt, only to subside and be replaced by others. It is a feverish ritual, the sound of clashing exegeses, of theories constructed and demolished in vacuo. At the heart of it all, is the unbearable uncertainty of being. Political uncertainty under communism was replaced by economic uncertainty under the insidious and venal form of capitalism that replaced it. Tucked in identical cubicles, the citizens of planet communism were at least assured of a make belief job in a sprawling bureaucracy or in a decrepit factory, manufacturing redundant documents or shoddy goods.
Unfinished sentences hover in the air, like vapour above a semantic swamp. In some countries (the poorer ones, which were suppressed for centuries by foreign occupiers), there is the strong urge not to offend. Still at the tribal-village stage of social development, intimacy and interdependence are great. Peer pressure is irresistible and it results in conformity and mental homogeneity. Aggressive tendencies, strongly repressed in this social pressure cooker, are close under the veneer of forced civility and violent politeness.
After the Rain: How the West Lost the East by Sam Vaknin