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Monthly Archives: December 2010

Brief Thoughts on Maps

The young lieutenant of a small Hungarian detachment in the Alps
sent a reconnaissance unit out onto the icy wasteland.
It began to snow
immediately,
snowed for two days and the unit
did not return.
The lieutenant suffered:
he had dispatched
his own people to death.

But the third day the unit came back.
Where had they been? How had they made their way?
Yes, they said, we considered ourselves
lost and waited for the end. And then one of us
found a map in his pocket. That calmed us down.
We pitched camp, lasted out the snowstorm and then with the map
we discovered our bearings.
And here we are.

The lieutenant borrowed this remarkable map
and had a good look at it. It was not a map of the Alps
but of the Pyrenees

Miroslav Holub, Brief Thoughts on Maps,Times Literary Supplement, Feb 4, 1977

Links for November 2010, but a bit late