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Island Enigmas

Dirk Liesemer is a writing Wandervögel, an epistolary inheritor of the romantically-imagined movement that flourished in Germany between the late nineteenth century and 1933. The “wandering birds” took their inspiration from medieval myths, and made a cult of the outdoors and walking. Liesemer likewise revels in stories of improbable journeys, and follows ancient and overshadowed trails. His parents’ professions—his father a seafarer, his mother an antique dealer—seem almost to predestine him to antiquarian travellers’ tales. He has written on the November 1918 revolutionaries who triggered the German Revolution of 1918-19, and traced the tank-tracks of the 11th Panzer Division (nicknamed…

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