Idyllic Exile

In the meantime we are still here, but I shan’t commit myself as to whether that is a good or a bad thing. Recently we were in Amsterdam, on the terrace of the Hotel Américain. I was talking about Gemütlichkeit. This was by no means restricted to the German emigrant milieu. We made Dutch friends;…

A Convenient Desert

The Low Countries as a Refuge for the Spirit René Descartes first arrived in the Netherlands in 1618. An officer in the young Republic’s army, which was more or less idle because of the Twelve Years’ Truce, he stayed in Breda for about a year. Subsequently he spent a few years travelling round Central Europe…