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Adalbert is a forum for me, to post ephemera, photography, poetry, occasional travel notes, and various spontaneous motions. Cover photo: Parsonage where my great-grandfather spent his early years. Taken near Liegnitz, Silesia, ca. 1870.

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Europa





I don't recall seeing a single homeless person in Copenhagen (unless you consider Christiania) -- none of the shopping carts, the shouting, the sleeping bags in doorways that one accepts as a standard part of the background in many U.S. cities. While admittedly a few days wandering around in the Danish city doesn't constitute solid research on the subject, there still must be some social explanation for the phenomenon.

Ok, the relation between Conrad's Under Western Eyes and Crime and Punishment is pretty obvious. I wasn't the first one to stumble on the link by any means. Razumov/Raskolnikov. I guess when I was in Poland, I was in the country of Conrad's early life, in a sense, although this is problematic. That part of Silesia was part of Eastern Germany (pre- and post- Bismarck era) during Joseph's early life, and the area where Conrad was born is now part of the Ukraine. Seems Stalin had a hand in the post World War Two border swap (and related ethnic cleansing of Poles and Germans), getting Churchill, Roosevelt and Truman to go along with him. The history of Breslau alone is immensely involved.

Photo: Fraktur inscription with skull and crossbones, Wroclaw, Poland.

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