The Bridge over the Drina - Ivo Andrić Finished. About a bridge, a beautiful bridge. Through this bridge one finds hope. But the book is also about the passage of time and the folly of man and the peoples and cultures of the Balkans. One percieves the smallness of man. There are no clear answers. Is it foolish to hope for a better future, and what is better? How does one judge progress? If there is kindness isn't life good? People are weak and mean and foolish, but at the same time they are kind and good and hard working. Both are true, and both will probably always be true. I believe the book says this.

Through page 199; One minute I am thinking I cannot go on reading because the cruelty of one human to another is just more than I can take. The writing moves me so, but then the lines change and the author makes me see the beauty of life. I am totally stunned. The writing flips me from one emotion to its opposite. The words in this books do this to me. This author can write, and he can see how people are - how terrible and how wonderful.

Through pPage 81: Still marvelous. Beautiful writing. Legends and myths and history all intertwined. The bridge is built (1571-1577) and it certainly wasn't easy. These troubles became the basis of fabulous legends. Then in the latter half of the 1700s their was a flood more terrible than any ever before. The waters rose a good thirty feet and the bridge was submerged, only to become visible again as the river's level lowered. The damage and devastation wrought by the flood was horrible, but of course time rolled on, life in the village continued:

"So, in the kapia(the terrace at the center of the bridge), between the skies, the river and the hills, generation after generation learnt not to mourn overmuch what the troubled waters had borne away. They entered there into the unconscious philosophy of the town; that life was an incomprehensible marvel, since it was incessantly wasted and spent, yet none the less it lasted and endured 'like the bridge on the Drina'."

I recommend looking at this bridge when you read the book. It is easy to find pictures on the web of this beautiful eleven-arched stone bridge. How what happened became myth is fascinating. The Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian and Turkish cultures and their respective religious constraints are described through the history fo this bridge, the bridge over the Drina at Visegrad in Bosnia.

Page 52 read: This author can write. A Nobel prize winner that can really write, that not only has a message but can truly write. Dam this is GOOD. He makes you see beauty and he makes you see horror. There is no skimming here; you want to catch every nuance. My heart is beating and I don't know what to do with myself. I have to stop before I can go on.