Bruce Chatwin in the sacred landscape
- I was walking back to work from a software demo the other day and
stopped to browse at the discount table in front of Chapters literary
bookstore. Bruce Chatwin's What Am I doing Here caught my eye and I
contributed 8.40 to the effort to keep literature alive in America.
Its a very broad collection of short pieces by Chatwin, whose writing
style is a lapidary lucidity full of artistic restlessness, appreciation
for people, sensuality and erudition. Just my kind of stuff! Further
he is deeply interested in the sacred landscape. The interview with the
Chinese geomancer who help build the bank of Hong Kong is great and the
the interview with Marie Reiche, the German woman mathematician who
spent 40 years living on the Peruvian Pampas measuring the Naszca lines,
is ten times better.
I am looking forward to reading more of his books, especially Songlines,
his essay/novel/expedition to walk the Australian songlines.
Bruce Chatwin was the golden child of contemporary English letters.
Paradoxically, however, his books appeared relatively late in his life:
until 1977, when the 37-year-old author published In Patagonia
this precocious, intense figure had occupied himself as an art
specialist at Sotheby's, a journalist with the Sunday Times, an
archaeologist, and a restless, perennial traveler. Once he got started,
of course, Chatwin made up for lost time. By 1989, when he died of an
AIDS-related illness, he had produced seven books--including two superb
novels and his sui generis masterpiece, The Songlines
won himself a worldwide audience.
URL for Amazon.com The Songlines