Portus Magnus

An Englishwoman in Algeria

I breathed the air of history all unaware, and walked oblivious through its littered layers.

-Annie Dillard


Our house, the Villa Robineau, had been built by a pied noir family in the early twentieth century on a cliff separated from the sea by a narrow strip of land.  It was the most imposing house in the small village of Bethioua, and had been built in the Anglo-Norman style, with a gabled slate roof and long, lugubrious windows.

Like everywhere in Algeria, the past intrudes on the present and sometimes, a sudden shift in perspective could allow you to see things as they had once been. The house, built with such love and care, had once had a clear, unobstructed view of the sea creaming against the rocky outcrops, or swelling smooth and glassy, clear and deep, within the shelter of Arzew bay.

Whenever the country simmered in a heat wave…

View original post 1,271 more words

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.