Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Tangentially related...

I've always been low-key fascinated by Albania. Any place with Roman ruins, centuries-old hillbilly feuds, and the Accursed Mountains can't help but hold my interest.

There's the distinctive-looking Albanian SKS which is, second only to the East German one, the crown jewel of the insular and lowbrow world of SKS collecting.

In fiction, young Lieutenant Otto Prohaska stumbles into a plot by Serbian anarchists and has to flee homeward across Albania on foot to warn the Archduke. It's one of the most memorable parts of the entire series of books.

For a more factual view, albeit just as darkly humorous, P.J. O'Rourke spends a chapter of Eat the Rich looking at the Albania of the early 21st Century, recovering from a 1997 civil war triggered by an economy that collapsed under a tottering pile of pyramid schemes.

Finally, the Wikipedia entry on "Hoxha's Mushrooms" is a heck of a jumping-off point for a wikiwander in its own right.