King Stépan IV's pleasure dome at Kragoneidin, on the shores of Lake Polishov

Monday, April 5, 2010

Holiday in Borduria

Happy Easter!  I have been enjoying mine as much as I can and staying away from the computer!  It was incredibly warm here; 26 degrees C or something crazy like that.  That is about 12 degrees warmer than our previous record for this weekend.  The snow is almost all gone, a few weeks early!   No doubt it is the same in Syldavia, and the mountain rivers are raging with runoff.  It is warm and sunny on the coast however.  As always the orange trees on the Syldavian coast are already abounding in ripened fruit, even as they bloom!  But, in Borduria, it is still winter and the only thing more dark and grim than a Bordurian winter is a Bordurian summer...



For those who might not yet know it (I am hardly on the cutting edge of news here), there is a second blog out there addressing Hergé's Syldavia and Borduria from a wargaming perspective.  The blog, entitled Funny Little Wars Garden Campaigns - Borduria Calling can be  found here .  The blog is focussed on the 1920s interwar period, when a historical confrontation between tradition and iconoclastic modernity seems to have infiltrated most everywhere, from art to politics to military strategy, but practical experience had not yet wholly wrung the idealism out of either.  Paul, the site's author, is concentrating on Borduria for the moment at least and has published descriptions of Bordurian cavalry, tankettes and parade infantry.  He has shown a couple images of troops on parade in the charming Novi Grad castle in Szohôd, the capital of Borduria.  I love the atmospheric  pictures Paul has posted - Szohôd seems to be following the "Isengard" model for modernity.  No petit bourgeoisie Art Deco there!     Szohôd is quite plainly a perfect place to avoid like the plague. for a carefree holiday .

Paul has also pointed out of few of his literary and historical inspirations for his project.  He notes one, King Zog of Albania, whom I stumbled across trying to learn a little bit of real-world history for my own project.  King Zog had a very interesting career (see here) and could be a real model for the character of pistol-packing King Muskar XII from the Tintin book Ottokar's Sceptre; King Zog appears to have known how to use his when needed and faced multiple coup attempts during his career.   My version of Syldavia could just as easily had been fitted onto the map of Albania; I chose to move it a little further away from the core of the Ottoman empire however.

If you find the doubly-fictional Syldavia sketched out at this site amusing, you will very much like Paul's site so please go visit him at Borduria Calling.  Don't forget to surrender your passport at the border.  And all hope as well...

4 comments:

  1. Alas, I've promised the beloved to keep focused on current project periodss, so I'll have to NOT link to the Bordura site (various sounds of disappointment!) But Frankfurter will retain a lively interest ....

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  2. Borduria Calling! Many thanks for the warm summary of 1920's Borduria - I think we are both going to enjoy a happy Herge-esque partnership across the ether...

    And I forget to say how much I admire your wonderful map of Syldavia. It is a really excellent and beautiful piece of work

    As ever

    Paul

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  3. Hi Paul,

    Thanks for your comments regarding the map, I have had fun making it and will make further refinements as needed. You are more than welcome to make use of it, if it is pertinent to your project. You will notice that Borduria is a great void in the map. I'd be pleased to collaborate with you ( a first Hergé-esque partnership?) in completing it if, once again, the placement of borders reflects the reality of your project. With at least 100 to 150 years between the eventual end of my project (I will surely never touch the 1900's on my own anyway...), there is plenty of room for re-organising borders if those of the 18th century aren't entirely suitable.

    Cheers,

    Jim

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  4. Hi Jim,

    Many thanks indeed - it will be great to use your map - and I would be delighted to work on filling that Bordurian void!!

    Rumours tonight across the border...

    As ever

    Paul

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