Thirty years on, what should we make of Bruce Chatwin’s song to the songlines? “Epic of Gilgamesh” is Google’s answer to “what is the oldest known literature”. The Songlines. by Bruce Chatwin. pages, paperback, Penguin, The Songlines is a beautiful meditation on the importance of travel to knowledge and . The publication of Bruce Chatwin’s The Songlines in transformed English travel writing; it made it cool. For the previous half century, travel.
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I had passed the test. Whether he got his facts straight about the whole concept, I don’t know. I am in love with the structure of this book; initially, it describes a series of encounters with black and white Australians living in the nearly uninhabitable Central Australia. A man raised in one part of the desert would know its flora and fauna backwards. And this brings me back round to The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin.
Chatwin asserts that language started as song, and in the aboriginal Dreamtimeit sang the land into existence for the conscious mind and memory. The timeline of Chatwin’s experiences was scattered, so it was sometimes hard to keep track of all the people and their stories. The sack moved, and the drawn and beautiful head of a young Wolof peered out. Eighty or a hundred thousand years?
Feb 14, James rated it liked it Shelves: Chatwin quite delicately at least to my eye I am in love with the structure of this book; initially, it describes a series of encounters with black and white Australians living in the nearly uninhabitable Central Australia. Zeppo di spunti per riflettere sulla nostra vita, impossibili da cogliere tutti alla prima lettura, e quindi da riprendere in mano spesso e volentieri, e sarebbe bellissimo che ne esistesse u Un po’ romanzo, un po’ saggio, un po’ autobiografia, un po’ libro di appunti e riflessioni.
The writing engages the hard conditions of life for present day indigenous Australians, while appreciating the art and culture of the people for whom the Songlines are the touchstone of reality. Their labyrinths of invisible pathways across the continent are known to us as Songlines or Dreaming Tracks, but to the Aboriginals as the tracks of their ancestors—the Way of the Law.
Only the italicized chapters let me down, partly because they songines to pull the book away from the songlines I was seeking to understand.
If he were skipping up and down the MacDonnell escarpments, you’d have a series of arpeggios and glissandos, like Liszt’s ‘Hungarian Rhapsodies’. The character Arkady refers to Australia as “the country of lost children”.
Despite the title this isn’t really a book about the Australian outback, it is another book about Bruce Chatwin. Yet even a superficial reader can get a glimpse of a moral universe–as moral chwtwin the New Testament–in which the structures of kinship reach out to all living men, to all his fellow creatures, and to the rivers, the rocks and the trees. Do we agree with Pascal that all man’s troubles songlinse from his inability to sit quietly in a room? The life of the Aboriginals stands in vivid contrast, of course, to the prevailing cultures of our time.
If you string several songs together in singlines right geographical sequence, you have a complete songline, which might take you from one coast to the other. The King sliced him into tiny shreds with his laser eyes!
Learn how and when to remove these template messages. View all 10 comments. The impression is organic, but of course a book is a created thing, designed to create a reading experience. Written a generation ago, in the ‘s, The Songlines has achieved considerable fame in the world of travel literature.
The quest was what attracted me to the book, and what I liked best. And of course it doesn’t help when you read in other reviews that he had the habit of inventing some of the stuff he wrote about also in other books. Non vedo l’ora di leggere In Patagonia.
The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin
Whether hunting kangaroo from a Land Cruiser, talking to the diminutive Rolf in his book-crammed trailer, buying drinks for a bigoted policeman and would-be writercheering as Arkady’s true love declares herself part of The Songlines is a romantic comedyChatwin turns this almost implausible picaresque adventure into something approaching the scale of a Greek tragedy.
The book is wildly original; simultaneously a thoroughly entertaining travelogue and also an almost stream of consciousness exploration of history, psychology, natural history, and more. Despite that this is a readable and ambitious book that is also compelling as a travel book of uncommon style.
Want to Read saving…. View songliines 11 comments. The stories contained landmarks, and were meant to be sung at a walking pace of about 4 mph. That’s Shit Dreaming,” the guide replies and breaks into hysterical laughter.