Montenegro kicked off the Balkan Wars, and la bande à Bonnot were rounded up at last: high time to bring some violence to the ballet. Across the Atlantic, the Armory Show stirred up Greenwich Village, and some clown invented the crossword. There were nudes descending staircases, and quantum-theory’s crazy stomp. We feigned the primitive, like Piltdown Man. Three hundred years of Romanovs could not pass unanswered, the nose-dive of a stalled regime. There was trouble in the blood, and no course clear, Europe —like RMS Titanic—in the dark. David Lumsden
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