A Journey to Nowhere

A Journey to Nowhere : Among the Lands and History of Courland

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Description

Courland is an entity that no longer exists. With the Gulf of Riga to the north, the Baltic to the west and Lithuania at its southern border, and now part of modern Latvia, the region was occupied by Nazi Germany and returned to Soviet Russia after the war, remaining largely inaccessible until 1991. It is now a nowhere land of wide skies and forests, deserted beaches, ruined castles and ex-KGB prisons. For years Jean-Paul Kauffmann has been irresistibly drawn to this buffer between the Germanic and Slav worlds. His digressive travels at the wheel of a Skoda become an investigation into the whereabouts of a former lover, a search for an excavator of tombs, and a journey in the footsteps of Louis XVIII, for whom Courland was once a place of exile.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 131 x 197 x 19mm | 194g
  • MacLehose Press
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1782062424
  • 9781782062424
  • 786,252

Table of contents

Maps. Prologue. I - THIRTY YEARS LATER: Mara from Canada. The 'Grand Oral'. Circe. Where Is Courland? The Resurrector Appears. II - THE JOURNEY TO COURLAND: A Red Skoda Favorit. The Lecturer from Liepaja. Gwenaelle K. The Polytonal Rocker. The Battle of Tsushima. Manor House or Palace? III - THE PROFESSOR: In the Corridor. The Sabile Vineyard. Fluffy Soviet Blankets. Moricsala. Gambia and Tobago. The Courland Cap. Romantic Courland. The Venus of Blankenfeld. Madame Royale's Tree. IV - THE HOUSE ON THE LAKE: Winter. The Resurrector is a Painter. Encounter with the Resurrector. Crocodile Dundee. The Survivor. 'It's a German Name'. Mythological Courland. The Cemetery. The Stranger. V - THE RETURN: Revenge. A Letter. Index. Chronology. Notes. Suggest Reading. Acknowledgements.
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Review Text

'A seductively exciting historical exploration of a country that no longer exists ... Kauffmann is the ideal literary detective' Irish Times. Irish Times
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Review quote

'This wonderful writer has come up with another winner' Giles Foden. * Giles Foden * 'Kauffmann is a gripping narrator. The minute he lands in Riga ... you're hooked' The Lady. * Lady * 'Curiously engaging and even tantalising book ... this book is something of a tour de force' Spectator. * Spectator * 'A triumph ... superbly translated by Euan Cameron, provides a vivid amalgam of opinion, history and travelogue; I was absorbed from start to finish' Financial Times. * Financial Times * 'A seductively exciting historical exploration of a country that no longer exists ... Kauffmann is the ideal literary detective' Irish Times. * Irish Times *
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About Jean-Paul Kauffmann

Jean-Paul Kauffmann is the author of The Dark Room at Longwood (1999), an exploration of Napoleon's exile on St Helena, Desolation Island (2001) and Wrestling with the Angel (2003). He was a journalist until 1985, when he was kidnapped in Beirut and only released three years later.

Euan Cameron's translations include works by Julien Green, Simone de Beauvoir and Paul Morand, biographies of Marcel Proust and Irene Nemirovsky.
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