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This is not a blog which expresses instant opinions on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers as jumping-off points for some reflections about our social endeavours.
So old posts are as good as new! And lots of useful links!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Another Danube Trip

Another trip north 2 weeks back – first to Port Cetate via Belogradchik and one of its vineyards and the Vidin bridge across the Danube. A huge shell of a synagogue at Vidin is left unexplained in the guidebook….

A nice website about Bulgarian public transport gives this experience of the Sofia-Vidin trip

A writer in residence at Port Cetate turned out to be a Schwabian from an old Danube family who is now producing wines in Hungary and writing a book on the different values represented by the Danube and Rhine rivers and the cultures around them….Claude Magris's Danube - a sentimental journey from the source to the Black Sea gave us an amazing take on that river (in 1989) but Ronnie Lessem's Global Management Principles (also 1989) not only identifies four very different clusters of values (north, south, east and west) but ascribes, to organisations and individuals alike, different life phases. There’s a nice summary here.   

A couple of decades ago, I used some fallow time I had to “bone up on” contemporary management writing (see chapter 6 of In Transit – notes on good governance) and have a continuing interest in the history of management thought (if that’s not a contradiction in terms!!). Lessem’s vignettes of the various figures in the management canon bring people and ideas alive in an exceptional manner.
Lessem, I am delighted to see, is still going strong and has moved from management into the wider field of economics – there’s a sadly rare video here of one of his presentations
He is one of these admirable people who challenge the narrowness of the intellectual boundaries which so constrain our thinking……  

After a couple of nights at Port Cetate, it was on to Craiova and a first visit to its superbly restored Art Gallery. Apart from great displays of the great work of Amman and Grigorescu, the visit was made worthwhile by a roomful of Brancusi sculptures and paintings by an artist so far unknown to me and who therefore doesn’t figure in my Introducing the Romanian Realists of the 19th and early 20th CenturiesEustatie Stoinescu about whom little is known although I did find this little nugget. 
This is a wonderfully coy painting of his….

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