From Ypres to Verdun: Not the memory, but the spectacle... (An Extract from Geert Mak's ‘Europe')
(Geert Mak) The Low Countries - 2006, № 14, pp. 12-14
At the beginning of 1999 Geert Mak left Amsterdam for a trip through Europe that was to last an entire year. It was a sort of final inspection: Mak wanted to see how the continent was faring at the end of the twentieth century. But it was also a journey through history: he literally followed the tracks of time, through the century and through the continent, beginning in January with the remnants of the Paris World Fair and roaring Vienna; and ending in December in the ruins of Sarajevo. This excerpt from 'In Europe' was written down between Ypres and Verdun, where the World War I 'has already entered the next phase, that of a popular tourist attraction, a mainstay of the region's commercial infrastructure.'
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