Friday, January 06, 2006

Talking about weather

That's what English people do, I, not being able to do just that, started reading a book "The Weather in the Imagination" by Lucian Boia. This guy is a Romanian historian, specializing in the history of ideas and the imaginary of people, i.e. he takes an idea or a concept and traces back how this concept was viewed or percieved (including in the form of myths and ideologies) in different eras and cultures. This time he takes it on weather/climate and investigates ideas like that of climate which determines the character of a nation, and the global warming and the end of the world through a climate catastrophe.

I read many of his books and I find his history much more enlightening than the one generally taught in school where you have to memorize loads of dates and events. He also manages to be funny many times, so the reading is also entertaining.

The best of his books is in my opinion "History and Myth in Romanian Consciousness" which discusses many of the myths of the Romanian history. I'm not sure how interesting would be this book for someone who is not Romanian (i.e. to understand the gap between this version of history and the "official" one), but for the ones that passed through our school system, were "brain-washed" in history classes and are still open-minded persons it definitely worth a read.
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