Monthly Archives: June 2009

An Ethnologist’s Take on Peasant Corsica


By Mike Goldstein

“Granite Island: A Portrait of Corsica” is a beautifully written chronicle of Dorothy Carrington’s time in Corsica (which spanned decades). Even after the second world war Corsican peasants were living very much in the same way their ancestors had for centuries. In the following paragraphs Carrington, visiting from London, writes about her experiences living with a Corsican peasant family near Sartene.

“… I had not understood how far my daily load of anxiety was a craving for the things every peasant knows: space, silence, and food that is not stale…


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Filed under Corsica, Europe, France, Travel


Bonifacio, Corsica

Azure and I agreed that Bonifacio is one of the most spectacular cities we’ve visited – it’s built on a cliff that’s surrounded by water on 3.5 sides and it’s pretty much waiting to fall into the water, as you can see above. From Bonifacio you can see Sardegna, Corsica’s Italian sister to the South. Bonifacio is hundreds of years old, of course, and somewhere up here was found one of the oldest inhabitants of Corsica, a woman whose grave was dated to ~9000 years ago.

We found the town itself to be one of those annoying seasonal towns that’s a shell in the off-season, so there’s nothing to do, nothing that sustains people. Tourism keeps em going the rest of the year, of course, so when we were walking around the town our interactions felt uncomfortably artificial. We were much happier in Sartene where there was a university and some commerce and free wifi only half an hour away.

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A weekend in Yakutat, Alaska

I was lucky enough to win* (* from my dad) a trip to Yakutat, Alaska last weekend! The first day we got in we went to the Hubbard Glacier and navigated small icebergs to get close enough to hear the thunder of ice breaking down. The glacier is 70 miles long and we were looking at its mile-long face.

Fred near the Hubbard glacier, Yakutat Alaska

Hubbard Glacier, Yakutat Alaska
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Filed under Alaska, Travel, USA