Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Laurence Bergreen

Laurence Bergreen is the author, most recently, of Marco Polo: From Venice to Xanadu.

From a Q & A at the publisher's website:

Q: It's surprising that for such a well-known person, so little has been written about Marco Polo. Why do you think that is?

A: It is an unlikely situation. And I was as surprised as anyone else to find that this was the case. There are books for young readers, and a vast trove of scholarly articles of varying usefulness, but next to nothing for the general adult reader, despite Marco Polo's fame. Even now, I'm not sure of the reason for this oversight, but I think Polo's unique and unclassifiable personality, reflected in his work, has something to do with it, as does his incredible range. He covers so many countries, continents, cultures, and languages that it is difficult to approach him in his cross-cultural entirety. In addition, Marco Polo did a fine job of speaking for himself. He seemed to need no introduction, but that was five hundred years ago. Now his work needs background and context to explain the circumstances out of which this unique work arose.
Read the full Q & A.

--Marshal Zeringue