An Apology of Enclaves - The New York Times
Article de 2011 - Pour les archives
No, “apology” is not the collective noun for enclaves. The accepted term is a complex of enclaves — although more imaginative suggestions are welcome. Nor do I feel the need to apologize for enclaves. Yes, these geopolitical anomalies — for the uninitiated, a chunk of one political or ethnic unit lying wholly within another — have caused their fair share of misery and grief. But fascination with a subject does not equal approval of all its phenomena; herpetologists need not apologize for snakebites.
In keeping with the original meaning of the word, this apology is a defense of enclaves, a fascinating but endangered border phenomenon. Yet at the same time, this piece is also an apology of sorts for enclaves , for two examples in particular: Baarle, Belgium, and Cooch Behar, India/Bangladesh, both of which involve not one or two but dozens of atomized enclaves spread throughout, respectively, Dutch and Bangladeshi/Indian territory. It’s fair to ask why these lands, which by all accounts feed daily bureaucratic nightmares, have been allowed to survive.