Tuesday 2 August 2016

Ivo's Boat to Noam Chomsky

Some readers of 'Left Field' have asked me what gave me the idea for this memoir. I started writing it while watching men fishing from a harbour wall on a Croatian island. This eventually became the chapter 'Ivos' Boat'. They reminded me of my father-in-law who had learned to fish, not as a summer hobby, but from necessity. A cafe musician, he lived most of his life in poverty and fish you catch yourself are free. Ivo had been a Partisan and communist. Born in the Austro-Hungarian empire, living most of his life in 'communist' Yugoslavia and dying in independent and right-wing Croatia. His country was confusing for him and central to me. My connection to the region is reflected in the heart of the book. But my biological family in this country have exerted a similar strong influence on me. My father was one of the first Allied medics into Bergen-Belsen and took me on my first CND march. My Welsh mother led me to a love of Dylan Thomas and all three of them have found their way into this book. Closely pursued by Pavarotti, Brian Eno and my connections to the music world and whistleblowed charity! Political activism has been a central thread in my life - I must be one of the oldest members of Momentum, but so long as Chomksy lives I feel young. www.davidwilson.org.uk

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