The Savage Frontier: Page 99 Test
- January 17, 2019
Marshal Zeringue’s Campaign for the American Reader blog has a fun exercise called ‘ the Page 99 test.’ Following Ford Madox Ford’s dictum ‘ Open the book at page ninety-nine and read, and the quality of the whole will be revealed to you,’ it invites writers to talk about page 99 in one of their books and see whether it bears out Madox Ford’s thesis. This is my contribution, about The Savage Frontier: the Pyrenees in History and the Imagination:
‘The Savage Frontier is a history of the Pyrenees, which challenges the stereotypical image of the mountains as a remote border region, isolated from the main currents of European and world history. I also examined the cultural depictions of the Pyrenees and the different ways in which the Pyrenean landscape has become a “landscape of the imagination.” It’s a very personal history, which combines various genres. In writing it, I was determined to see as many places and landscapes as I could with my own eyes, and I tried to imagine them from the perspective of the people I wrote about.
The chapter in which page 99 appears is entitled “The Zone of War”. As the title suggests, it looks at the military history of the Pyrenees as a battleground and strategic frontier, for invading armies and soldiers fighting in Spain’s various civil wars…’
You can read the rest here.