On being PC

“To asperse a sunset in these days is a political indiscretion; and equally so, to praise it, if there happens to be a cement-factory in the foreground that ought to be praised instead. Somebody must trespass on the taboos of modern nationalism, in the interests of human reason. Business can’t. Diplomacy won’t. It has to be people like us.” – Robert Byron, The Road to Oxiana.

This book is well worth a read if you have a lazy few days by the pool or curled up by a fire and want to both dream about distant lands and enjoy a good chuckle. Although about Iran, Afghanistan and the English view of the world, it is suggestive of the allure of Central Asia, it’s scenery and an attitude towards the region common in 20th century Anglophone writing about its art, anthropology, &c.

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