Category: Central Europe

  • One year on

    One year on

    Tomorrow marks the first anniversary of Russia’s attack on Ukraine. As a personal gesture, I republish an essay about my own family’s Ukrainian origins, written in 2019, “before the current anguish.”

  • From the north

    From the north

    I first became aware of Arthur Schopenhauer’s philosophy through a reading of Thomas Mann’s Buddenbrooks during my sophomore year of college. Towards the end of the book, middle-class merchant Thomas Buddenbrooks, in late middle age and grimly contemplating the slow disarray into which his business and family had fallen over three or four generations, takes […]

  • Anniversary day

    Anniversary day

    Today, November 17, marks the 33rd anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, the 1989 protest in Czechoslovakia that led to the overthrow of the Communist regime there and the rise of Václav Havel to the presidency of the new republic. I visited Prague for the first time the following year, and, as the saying goes, “Bliss […]

  • My people

    My people

    As I repost some of my past essays, I offer the below, originally published here in 2019, before the current anguish. I should note that additional research points to the very real possibility that small municipalities like Urman were incorporated into the Ternopil administrative region some time ago — rendering genealogical research even more difficult […]

  • Thirty years ago

    Thirty years ago

    Looking back to a 1990 tour of Central Europe.

  • On the periphery

    On the periphery

    A few meditations inspired by Marjorie Perloff’s study of Austrian modernism.

  • My Vienna

    My Vienna

    The Austrian capital, past and present.