The Songlines Bruce Chatwin
Part fictionalised travelogue, part memoir, The Songlines was the book that crowned Bruce Chatwin’s unconventional but brilliant literary career. In it, he merges stories of his childhood and of his restless wanderings around Africa, fascinating theories on early man’s development – and, of course his passionate evocation of the invisible lines that criss-cross Australia, sacred to the Aborigines and along which they passed their ‘dreamings’ about the world’s creation. Chatwin is not sentimental or idealistic – he encounters plenty of drunkenness, poverty and hostility in his travels, as well as continuing racism and exploitation. Neither does he see himself as a saviour of Aboriginal traditions. Rather, he is exploring the issues that have haunted his life: in gaining material ease, what spiritual qualities have we lost? Which characteristic is dominant in human nature – aggression or compassion? And can we change? These are profound questions, but Chatwin handles them with an assured lightness of touch. Chatwin mingles comedy with poignancy, and a robust faith in humanity illumines the book.
- Folio Society First Impression
- Publisher Folio Society, London; 2010
- Yellow Buckram Hardback, 297 pp
- With frontis-piece and colour illustrations by Simon Pemberton
- Size 230 x 160mm, 1.1kg
Condition: Fine – Superb Unmarked Copy
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