Article from Saturday’s Guardian about Rebecca West’s masterwork, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon. He doesn’t mention the fact that some hold Rebecca West’s views as having provided intellectual justification for the international community’s shameful passivity during the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s. In my view that is a total misreading of West, but sufficiently widespread that the omission seems odd in what is otherwise a very interesting article (apparently abridged from the foreword to the new edition of the book).
Black Lamb and Grey Falcon is a vast, ambitious and complex book which repeatedly stresses the kinship between homely and universal truths. By making a cake for friends, West insists, “one is striking a low note on a scale that is struck higher up by Beethoven and Mozart”.