The inclination to travel: to set off to faraway lands, to leave behind the familiar world, one’s home – only to look for what is familiar in the place that attracted us precisely because of its strangeness and otherness. Rather than visiting glamorous cities, Noémi Kiss visits the peripheries of Eastern Europe: Bukovina, Backa and Galicia. As she is open-minded enough to allow for otherness, she returns from her trips with more than just herself. Her Eastern Europe is sensitive, diverse, full of contradictions and enduring. It is her attention that sets off the historical lustre of shabby places, opening larger vistas than the present state of dilapidation and scarcity. And it is her openness that makes us believe that Ukraine is home not only to the most beautiful and the ugliest woman in the world but the middle of the world as well.
“She is sufficiently disrespectful, a free soul but never arrogant – not the one to know more than the other person or the story that a village or a hill has to tell. She neither judges nor ‘surveys’ from above – instead of poising on any sort of intellectual pinnacle, she is up to her neck in the whirl of it all… Although thoroughly intellectual, she is not inclined to intellectualizing, while her remarks are intelligent and witty. This is an original spirit, sometimes piqued, often funny, always intelligent and feminine, ready to blush, ready to pale.” (Viktória Radics, Magyar Narancs)
Trips to the peripheries of Eastern Europe
ISBN 978 963 1426 99 1
2009, hard cover with jacket
184 pages, 123×184 mm
German, Europa Verlag
English excerpts available