Mark Thompson

Mark Thompson has been living in Croatia for several months. He is the author of The Paper House: The Ending of Yugoslavia, and the translator of Claudio Magris’s Inferences from a Sabre.

Greater Croatia

Mark Thompson, 13 May 1993

The famous gentility of Zagreb is wearing thin. Croatia’s tidy capital has been degraded by almost two years of war, as has the regime which has held power since the free elections of 1990. Across the country, queues for black bread form before dawn. Subsidised by the state, black bread is far cheaper than other kinds; with the average monthly wage sinking below the equivalent of £40, only one in five Croatians employed, quarter of a million displaced persons, and half a million destitute Bosnian refugees, many people need to save about 20p on the daily loaf.


Those Awful Serbs

31 July 1997

Charles Simic is a scintillating writer, but his review of Tim Judah’s book was blustery (LRB, 31 July). Western politicians and commentators were hardly to blame if Serbian warmongering obscured the reality of a Serb Problem in Yugoslavia. As for that ‘dreadful bias’ in the Western media, does Simic really believe the coverage was at odds with events on the ground? How can anyone,...

Winners and Losers

4 January 1996

Misha Glenny says (Letters, 8 February) that Milosevic did not pursue a pan-Serb agenda, and did want ‘the maximum control over the maximum amount of territory’. In the real world, that was either/or. The inference, parading as axiom, that Milosevic was indefinitely committed to keeping maximum territory after this commitment had stopped making sense, has cost many lives. It begat the prejudice,...

Winners and Losers

9 March 1995

It seems principled of Misha Glenny (LRB, 4 January) to heap praise on The Death of Yugoslavia by Allan Little and Laura Silber, for their book’s argument runs strongly counter to Glenny’s own views of the war.Silber and Little state their ‘single core thesis’ at the outset: ‘under Milosevic’s stewardship, the Serbs were, from the beginning of Yugoslavia’s...

Seconds Away

8 January 1987

SIR: Many readers of Wayland Kennet’s review of Paul Mercer’s ‘Peace’ of the Dead (LRB, 8 January) must have wondered if the European Nuclear Disarmament (END) organisation to which he refers is the same one they have known about for the past six years, and possibly supported or joined. His description of END as a ‘semi-independent’ ‘sub-campaign’ of...

Witchiness: Baba Yaga

Marina Warner, 27 August 2009

Dubravka Ugrešić’s Baba Yaga Laid an Egg is the latest, most inventive and most substantial volume in Canongate’s series of revisioned myths. The first was Margaret...

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Pinzolo is a sleepy Alpine resort in northern Italy, about an hour’s drive from Trento. Today, it is a prosperous place, living off winter and summer tourism, but for most of the last...

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Living like a moth

Michael Ignatieff, 19 April 1990

I have always wondered when my grandparents realised they would never see Russia again. In July 1917, when they locked up the house on Fourstatskaya Street in Petrograd, left the key with my...

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Charmed Lives

Patrick Parrinder, 23 April 1987

The English title of Dan Vittorio Segre’s Storia di un Ebreo Fortunato, Memoirs of a Fortunate Jew, has complex resonances. If, as Frank Kermode has recently remarked in this paper, memoirs...

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