Item description for Gypsies, Wars and Other Instances of the Wild: Civilization and its Discontents in a Serbian Town by Mattijs van de Port...
What does civilization mean to the inhabitants of a Serbian town after yet another bloody war on the Balkan Peninsula? How was it possible that people who had been friends and neighbors for so long ended up killing each other? And how do they deal with this barbarity in the post-war period?
The figure of the gypsy, who often appears in Serbian popular culture, has always been invested with the mysterious power to unveil the mendacious undertones in the program of civilization. Wherever he appears - in jokes, songs, tales, literature, or movies - the civilized order is unmasked. This motif can be seen most dramatically in bars and taverns, where gypsy musicians lead their Serbian customers in veritable celebrations of unreason. "This is real," Serbs say about these gatherings where the canons of propriety and civilized behavior are overthrown with obvious relish. "This is life."
The author, who spent several months in Serbia investigating these wild meetings, relates the 'unreason' of the behaviour in these bars to the atrocities committed during the war which broke out during his stay. Highlighting how the program of civilization brings with it the need to construct an image of humankind more compatible with the lessons of history, Gypsies, Wars and Other Instances of the Wild may be read as a case-study of how war-infested societies cope with wartime traumas.
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Studio: Amsterdam University Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.4" Width: 6.2" Height: 0.7" Weight: 1.05 lbs.
Release Date Jun 1, 1998
Publisher Amsterdam University Press
ISBN 9053563156 ISBN13 9789053563151
Availability 62 units. Availability accurate as of May 23, 2017 08:52.
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More About Mattijs van de Port
Mattijs van de Port is a cultural anthropologist. He lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.