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On the shores of an Italian coastal town a book is catching the eye, undulled by the sparkling Mediterranean. Four Czech Short Stories, published in French, promises, in the preface, to send to print soon as many of the Slovak tradition, those two “lands” being one “country” at the time. Meanwhile, in another swath of land across the continent, on shop windows are Roman numerals followed by Arabic numbers, informing customers of opening times, days of the week simply being counted from one to seven and the hours in the usual fashion. There used to be synagogues and mosques, while a communal cemetery has been relocated nearer a forest, where a river flows, maybe because godful and godless hang on to what is termed pagan. It is indeed so peaceful and quiet you understand why majestic pines and flowing water really don’t care.

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