I read a lot of Rilke’s poetry, but very little of his prose, because in my opinion, he conveyed the feelings and the dreams that marked the beginning of the 20th century better than any other German or Franco-German author (because he has indeed been Franco-German). I study his poems while I travel from one continent to another.
I read Geert Mak’s “In Europe: Travels Through the Twentieth Century” over and over again because it is the summa europe, as it visits every country and addresses every feeling that lived through the 20th century.
It is a book about history, a book about beliefs, a book which invites you to dream and then, every three sentences, brings you back to reality.
It is a book to study, to learn from, to make you escape and also, to make you come back to your senses.
Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission