Lords and Peasants, All

Just starting Rebecca West’s chapter on Serbia.  Oh goodie.  It’s starting off better than I’d hoped.  Constantine, who’s really Stanislav kul-vinaver-smallVinaver, Serb poet, is our tour guide.  Brilliant, witty, incessantly chatty, a renowned seducer.  We shall be entertained.  The first memorable phrase he uses in referring to the Serb “lord and peasant.”  That’s not referring to two separate classes, but to the two aspects of the Serbian everyman’s identity.

To illustrate the concept Constantine told the story of the King visiting Constantine’s small town and asking a peasant how he was making out.  The peasant told him he was doing just fine in pigs . . .

. . . and smuggling. 

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