Norman Davies - Beneath Another Sky
In 2010, aged 70, this great romantic historian of Europe set off to circumnavigate the world, travelling eastwards, to visit continents and places he didn't know. From Abu Dhabi to Singapore and the settlement of Tasmania to the short-lived Republic of Texas, Beneath Another Sky is a historian's travelogue in which his penetrating gaze bores through the present to see how things became as they are and how people came to tell themselves the stories which make up their identities.
Threaded throughout is a brilliantly subtle appreciation of the commonalities of human culture over time, Davies's three recurring themes are the story of 'indigenous' peoples (who is 'indigenous' to any place?); the cross-currents of language - its delights, peculiarities and significances; and the waves of human movement across our planet. With characteristic gusto he exposes the complex, layered and often misunderstood histories that give rise to modern notions of roots, migration and identity.
Davies's circumnavigation takes him to Baku, the Emirates, India, Malaysia, Mauritius, Tasmania, Tahiti, Texas and Madeira and others in between. At every stop, he describes the current scene and excavates the layers of accumulated experience that underpin it. He tramps round ancient temples and offbeat museums, summarises the complexity of Austronesian languages and Pacific exploration, delves into the fate of indigenous peoples, reflects on cultural imperialism in Cornwall and makes a break for freedom at Frankfurt Airport. 'Everything has its history', he writes, 'including the history of finding one's way or of getting lost.' As always, Davies watches the historical horizon as well as what is close at hand, and brilliantly complicates our view of the past.
Llangwm Village Hall
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
£4 (free to patrons)
Tickets available at the box office