John Dos Passos: Rosinante to the Road Again
Friday, August 13, 2010
The boggy forests of Finland
It's hard for Anglo-Saxons, ante-social, as suspicious of neighbors as if they still lived in the boggy forests of Finland, city-dwellers for a paltry thirty generations, to understand the publicity, the communal quality of life in the region of the Mediterranean. The first thought when one gets up is to go out of doors to see what people are talking of, the last thing before going to bed is to chat with the neighbors about the events of the day. The home, cloistered off, exclusive, can hardly be said to exist. Instead of the nordic hearth there is the courtyard about which the women sit while the men are away at the marketplace.