East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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The Man that would be Indy: William M. McGovern

Raiders of the Lost Ark

The list of real-life characters that supposedly inspired the fictional character of Indiana Jones is long and varied.
Roy Chapman Andrews is usually at the top of the list – even if both Spielberg and Lucas denied they ever heard about him before they filmed Raiders of the Lost Ark.

But what about William Montgomery McGovern?
Today, McGovern is not very popular.
The son of a globetrotting couple (his father was an army officer), McGovern put together an impressive curriculum.
He studied Buddhist philosophy in Japan, then moved to the Sorbonne first and the University of Berlin later, finally getting his PhD in Oxford. He was then lecturer and/or examiner in Oriental
Studies at the University of London. Continue reading

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Five (more) Companions for a Night Out

… but let’s play the meme game “out for a wild night with five imaginary friends” in a slightly different manner, now.

What if I were to select five historical characters, five real persons, that is, to share my table at the restaurant, my box at the theater, and later a nightcap in my favorite night-spot?

Obviously, the catalogue of fascinating historical characters is sohuge and varied, that picking any five is a feat for the foolish, but let’s consider a smaller subset.

This is, after all, karavansara, where adventure and fiction meet and intermingle… so, what about a night out with five of those 20th century scholars-adventurers I love so much?

Let’s see… Continue reading